Frozen boa constrictor found on acreage near Tofield, Alta.
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2019 4:54PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 9, 2019 6:26PM MST
While out for a routine walk with her dog, a Tofield woman stumbled upon what she thought was a deer carcass.
“We were following a deer trail actually, thought that coyotes got a deer, it’s not uncommon to happen out on acreages,” said Amanda Stahl.
“I didn’t want to touch it so I used my boot to flip it over and was, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a snake, this is a snake, this is a big snake.’”
Adrian Theroux-Nielsen, co-owner of the Oasis Fish & Reptile store, has been in business about 30 years. After seeing the photos, he suspects what Stahl found is a Colombian boa constrictor.
“They do get quite large, so that particular snake could get up to 10 feet, 12 feet in length. They live over 20 years. Fairly easy to handle, normally have a good temperament,” he said.
Stahl found the snake on the edge of her property – not far from a road. She checked the area for clues as to how the animal wound up where it did. She didn’t find any footprints, only animal tracks. She checked with neighbours, but no one claimed ownership, leaving her to suspect it was dumped there.
“My best guess is coyotes got it and dragged it onto my property. There was some blood marks on it. You could kinda tell that something had been nibbling on it.”
According to Theroux-Nielsen, if the snake was alive, it wouldn’t have survived long in this weather.
“If it was put out there alive, yeah, it would be dead very, very quickly.” He added “And it would be very painful for the snake as well so if you freeze a cold blooded animal that’s alive, their organs freeze one of the first things so that’s very painful for the animal.”
Stahl hopes the owner is found. “Very sad. I mean if you have a pet that you don’t want any more then you should be taking the appropriate steps to contact the SPCA and re-home it. Find somebody who wants to take it as a pet.”