The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the owner of a ball python that was found about three miles east of town Thursday night.
“Deputy Jason Gifford just took a call of a snake on the loose,” the sheriff’s office reported on its Facebook page. “Turns out, the snake is a ball python and not native to the area.”
According to Detective Sergeant Jacob Welsh, the snake was found in the 1400 block of Road 170. The call came in around 8:42 p.m.
Welsh said it was unknown if the snake had been dumped intentionally or if it had escaped from an enclosure.
“That’s kind of the big, up-in-the-air, question right now,” he said. “According to what the deputy said last night, the snake could have been dumped but it also could have gotten out of an enclosure. I’m not sure if that’s an appropriate distance for a python to travel, but I’m not a python expert.”
The snake, which is about 3-feet-long, was picked up by L & L Pets and looks to be in good health.
Welsh reminded the community that abandoning animals — even snakes — is a form of animal cruelty.
“You can’t just dump pets out in the county,” he said. “That’s animal cruelty and that’s a problem. We’re trying to find the owner so we can find out if it escaped or if they dumped it and why. If they felt they couldn’t take care of it or something like that.”
The Emporia Animal Shelter does not take pet surrenders, but larger shelters in neighboring cities could be options for people who have pets they feel they can no longer keep. Welsh said local veterinarians may also have advice on possible foster homes that may be open.
L & L Pets may also know of people looking for more exotic pets, such as snakes.
If you are the owner of the python, or have information about this case, call the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office at 620-341-3205.
The python is not the only exotic animal on the loose that has kept local law enforcement busy in recent days. Last week, an iguana had escaped with Emporia city limits. It has since been returned to its owner.