SALEM (CBS) — A Salem family enjoying the summer day by the pool was shocked when they found a python curled up underneath a deck chair.
Bob Bell is used to his granddaughters complaining when they spotted creatures in his backyard in the past. But this time, it was no false alarm.
On Tuesday, Bell’s granddaughters were swimming in his pool when they cried out “Papa there’s a big snake on deck!” Bell said he’s heard similar claims many times, but it ends up being something minor like a worm of a garter snake.
Judging from the girls’ tone though, Bell sensed it was something more serious this time.
When Bell went out to check underneath the pool chair, he found a foot and a half long Ball Python.
“I did scream for a couple of minutes,” said Alyssandra Bell, who found the snake while swimming.
Alyssandra’s older brother was able to get the snake into a bucket and Salem Animal Control took the reptile away.
Officials believe the snake was discarded by, or escaped from, a pet owner.
“They are a friendly snake, kind of in the cat and dog field. A lot of people have them as pets. They are not poisonous, you don’t need a license to possess them,” explained Salem Police Animal Control Officer Donald Famico.