Owner of escaped 9 foot python urges public not to hurt it
The owner of an escaped 9 foot long python has sent a letter to his neighbours pleading for them not to hurt it.
The note was pushed through doors on Lovell Road, Cambridge, where the snake escaped in the early hours of Saturday morning, prompting a police search.
It shows a picture of the snake around a friend’s neck and in the note he even suggests his neighbours might like to try trapping the snake, whose name is Turin.
The owner wrote: “He’s a dwarf reticulated python, he’s completely harmless and very used to people. Don’t be scared and please don’t hurt him.
“You can see pictures of him, one is with a friend of mine so you can get a good idea of how big he is in comparison to a person.
“Ideally don’t lose sight of him and use a plastic box to trap him.”
He adds: “I apologise for the trouble.”
The snake was last spotted in Lovell Road slithering past a front doorstep across the street from the owner’s house.
A neighbour coming home from work spotted the creature and called the police. They attended at about 1.30am, but by that time the reptile had disappeared. Police have now called off the hunt to concentrate on ‘other policing work’.
The python, which is capable of eating small mammals up to the size of a cat or rabbit, was last seen in front of the home of Lovell Road resident Michael Barton.
He said: “I was woken up in the early hours of Sunday morning by bright lights shining through the windows. I looked out and saw police officers with torches in our front garden and a police car shining its headlamps at our house.
“I went downstairs - barefoot - and opened the door, to be told by my neighbour that he had seen a three metre snake go past our doorstep and that it was as thick as your arm.
“He said he’d been coming home from work when two people in the street started screaming and he saw the snake they were looking at as it went past my house. That’s when he called the police.”
Michael, and artist with Cambridge Open Studios, added that his next door neighbour had their house searched by the police to see if the snake was hiding inside because they had a cat flap and officers were concerned it could have crawled through. And Michael was worried the snake could be hiding in his pond, as they are fond of water.
“I’ve turned the fountain on in the pond to see if It will get the snake out,” he said.
At the response to the suggestion that he could catch snake, Michel joked: “I’ve got a big yellow trug in the shed - maybe I could catch it in that but not before I got a photograph first!”
The python is believed to have escaped from an open upstairs window in a house on Lovell Road. Andy Moden, who lives next door to the owner, was concerned for the safety of his pets. He said: “We have got a couple of cats so we are a little bit concerned for them when they are in the garden because a python needs to eat and it might not be too fussy but we are animal lover so we won't hurt it if we find it.
“The thing I’m disappointed with is we didn't know it had happened at first, from either the police or the neighbour. Maybe he didn't want to alarm people. I think it is a dangerous creature, so it probably shouldn't be roaming around.”
Police have urged the public not to approach the snake and to call 101 if they spot it.
More by this authorAlex Spencer