Pythons on loose
in neighborhood

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (AP) — In a real life version of the children’s reader “Snakes Alive!”, state wildlife officers are searching for 14 pythons in an east Georgia subdivision after a woman reported someone let the pet snakes loose.

Jacqueline Heim told authorities the snakes were in secure cages. She suspects someone set them free deliberately this week.

Heim tells WRDW-TV the ball pythons are not harmful. Ball pythons, sometimes known as royal pythons, are so named because their key defense against predators is to roll up in a ball.

Priscilla Crisler of Augusta Animal Services says the snakes “typically are very docile.”

But neighbors like Shekelia Wilcher are on edge. Wilcher tells WJBF-TV that young children in the neighborhood wait for their school bus and “one might just crawl up on them.”

The neighborhood is in Hephzibah, about 15 miles south of Augusta.