Sunday, March 02, 2014

Escaped python lurking in woman's loudspeaker lured out by dead, delicious mouse

A woman from Stockholm in Sweden called the police after finding a python in one of her loudspeakers on Friday. Police were left baffled, and animal experts were called in with a "dead and delicious" treat to lure out the escapee. "The woman found it slithering on the floor of her apartment and she called the police, but before they arrived it crept inside one of the speakers," Jonas Wahlström, managing director of Skansen aquarium said.

Officers on the scene tried to cajole the reptile from its hideout, but were unsuccessful. "The woman was terrified for real, but we were not scared, we never are," a Södermalm police spokesperson said. In the end, the officers turned to the animal park for advice. Zookeepers suggested putting the entire speaker in a large bag and delivering the package to the park, and the police did as they were told. "We then decided to offer the snake a dead, delicious mouse right by the hole of the loudspeaker.

"It finally poked its head out and we grabbed it," Walhström explained. The snake turned out to be an Australian carpet python, also known as a diamond python. They aren't venomous, but their tiny sharp teeth can pack a painful punch. Carpet pythons can grow to four metres in length, but are usually half that, and feed on small mammals after suffocating them to death. Wahlström speculated that the python was an escapee from a neighbour of the Södermalm woman, and had made a break for it in a ventilation shaft.

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"They're very good at creeping," he added. Police have labelled the snake as "lost goods", meaning the owner is free to collect it from the zoo. If no owner shows up, the snake will find a new home at Skansen or will be donated to another animal park. But there's one place it's sure not to end up. "We asked the woman if she wanted to keep it, and she just said 'Absolutely not'," Wahlström said with a chuckle.

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