Scottsdale Fire Department catches a 7-foot boa snake, third snake this month in the area

Posted at 12:16 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 22:31:41-04

The Scottsdale Fire Department captured a seven-foot long Red-Tail boa Monday evening.  

The snake was discovered when it shocked a woman taking out the trash near downtown Scottsdale.

This is the third time this month that fire has been called to the area of 75th Street and Osborn Road for a snake removal.

They said the first two involved a 10-foot albino Burmese python and a nine-foot albino Burmese python.

“It was kind of exciting.  My first thing was, is it aggressive?  Can I touch it?  So I walked up, petted it—it seemed fine,” Kelly Ranft, a Scottsdale firefighter, said.

Fire officials explained that after a snake is caught, it is brought back to the station and picked up by the Phoenix Herpetological Society.

“My personal opinion is somebody is not securing the cages.  I know the question was asked, ‘Is somebody releasing them?’  I don't think that's the case at all.  I think somebody is doing a pretty poor job of securing their animals,” PHS President Russ Johnson said.

Somebody claimed the first python, but the herpetological society still has the other two. 

Johnson said if authorities find the owner (or owners), they could face fines for animal abuse or releasing a non-native species.

“Very underweight,” said Johnson, holding the nine-foot-long Burmese python found one week ago.  “So when we got it here, Ryan defrosted six medium rats.  Normally when you get an animal in it’s very skittish and it wolfed them down like it hadn’t eaten in a very long time.”

He said the boa found Monday night also showed signs of injury. 

Johnson said a scrape on the snake’s head and neck could be damage caused by its escape from the enclosure where it was previously housed.

While the big snakes are scary for people who stumble into them, Johnson said they’re docile from their time in captivity and aren’t likely to be dangerous to people.  However, a big snake that has gotten hungry could easily attack and eat a cat or small dog.