9-foot python discovered in Bon Air finds new home - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

9-foot python discovered in Bon Air finds new home

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

People living in Bon Air can sleep a bit easier. The nine-foot Burmese python seen slithering through the neighborhood Saturday is off the streets, and in a new home at Off the Ark Exotic Pets.

Richard Smith spotted the bright yellow and white snake heading for a drain, during a heavy rain storm. Smith pulled over to coax the creature out.

"The snake was in big trouble. And I knew it was, so at that point, I just did it," said Smith.

What Smith did was take a firm grip of the snake, and pull.

"When I grabbed it by the tail, it got real agitated… I tried to talk to it and say, ‘I will help you. I'm going to help you,'" continued Smith.

Smith put his new friend in a bag and placed it in the back of his pickup truck.

Snake expert Vinny Ferraiolo, owner of Off the Ark Exotic Pets in Chester, is now caring for the 15-pound python. Ferraiolo theorizes that the animal's former owner might have been afraid to relinquish it, the right way.

"A lot of people think it's illegal to have (pythons), so they won't turn them in. Then, they let them go," said Ferraiolo.

Unfortunately, the python was found underweight. Ferraiolo estimates it hadn't eaten a decent meal in several months.

"He's thin. I really believe that whoever had him, probably wasn't taking good care of him… fought with the idea for a while…and then let him go," added Ferraiolo.

However, the python now has another chance, thanks to a man who didn't discriminate against unusual animals.

"If it was a dog or a cat or anything else, I would have helped it anyway," said Smith.

Copyright 2013 WWBT.   All rights reserved.

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