BOSTON (CBS) – A woman said she’s “absolutely devastated” after losing her snake on the Red Line Thursday.

Melissa Moorhouse told WBZ News Radio on Friday that she got on a train downtown and was heading toward Braintree when she said she could not find her pet boa.

“She was on my neck along with my scarf,” she explained, noting that she checked her neck for “Penelope” at every stop to be safe.

Snake owner Melissa Moorhouse talks to WBZ Radio producer Jon MacLean

“Sometimes she will climb into my bag, but she did not and she was not stuck in the lining of my coat or anything like that.  I couldn’t find her anywhere,” Melissa said.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.

“There’s a small chance that maybe she was left at Park Street and I was just feeling my scarf.  But I’m very positive that I lost her in, I think they said car three, between Park Street and Andrew, because I was getting off at Andrew when I realized didn’t have her.”

Melissa said “Penelope,” a Boa dumerili, is harmless.

She has posted this message on Craigslist for anyone looking for her:

she is a very mellow snake- never hisses or bites and is very timid. she is a bit under 3 feet long with a brownish, almost pinkish paisley looking pattern on her back. she is 3 years old and ive had her since she was 5 days old. if you see her, if you find her- please call me

Penelope can get into “really, really small spaces,” according to Melissa.

The train was delayed at the JFK-UMass stop for 15 minutes as people searched the car for the snake. It was not found and the train left.

snake1 Snake Disappears On Red Line

(credit: CBS)

Another lengthy search was done in Braintree and came up empty.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said they’re confident it’s safe to ride the Red Line and commuters shouldn’t worry.

Pesaturo talks to WBZ Radio’s Jon MacLean

“The trains are absolutely snake-free,” he said.  “We conducted a search and found nothing.”

Comments (83)
  1. gramps says:

    I’m sure the snake got off @ ‘Park Street’ & slithered up to the State House to be with his buddies…..


    1. Framing-tham says:

      Laughed out loud! Perfect response.

      1. john_hudsonma says:

        Very good!!!

    2. Tatedolan says:


    3. Rita McNamaraMoose says:

      He’ll never return_ and his fate is still unknown

      He will ride forever neath the streets of Boston
      He’s the snake who”ll never return :-D

  2. Ebvette says:

    Name of the snake “Charlie”

  3. chance smith says:

    you viper

  4. Carl says:

    I have HAD it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday train!

  5. James Patrick Dowd says:

    I guess for a “news” site to report what kind of snake it was. That might be germane to the story. If it was a common garter snake why even report it, on the other hand if it was a pit viper by all means stop the train and roll the presses.

    1. KenB says:

      My thought, too. I kept skimming the article looking for the type of snake. Poor news judgment or editorial judgment or both.

      1. Ashley Rescott says:

        It’s a BOA,

      2. Me says:

        It said “pet boa” in the first paragraph

      3. tina says:

        try reading the article and not skimming it. it was a Boa dumerili, stated in the article

      4. Robert says:

        When they said boa I thought they meant the scarf….

    2. Jane says:

      Ya James, let go of the tiny snake in your shorts AND READ THE ARTICLE!!

  6. Sue says:

    new movie – snakes on a train?

  7. RobH says:

    A reptile disfunction on the Red line

    1. DCPearceMD says:

      Perhaps it’s the dreaded spitting
      “One-Eyed Trouser Snake”
      A Reptile Dysfunction indeed!

  8. Simon Shebutz says:

    It’s a fanny biting snake so beware

  9. LB says:

    Snakes – on a Train!

  10. cj says:

    a small python, or a corn snake most likely. a large python would be too big for a bag, and no one would be dumb enough carry a pit viper in their purse. i hope she finds her snake, because although it’s a snake–it’s still her choice of pet. maybe in the future she’ll be more careful as to how she transports it.


    Meanwhile, the INVASION continues…

  12. kdm says:

    With all of the mice along the tracks on the Red Line, I think I know where it is :-D

  13. Anne says:

    A snake on a train? What was she thinking of? After all, why not? It is such a mess anyway! Peace!

  14. David Adams says:

    She doesn’t really care about that snake or she would have been more responsible in the way she transported it…the thing was just a ‘fashion statement’ and she will soon find a new ‘statement’ to display as she sashays about town

  15. m r says:

    what a moron. What happened to NO PETS on the train?

    Oh well, I guess this is another example of the destruction of society

    1. CB says:

      Um, there is no such rule. Pets are allowed at the discretion of the driver. I often take my small dog on with me at off-peak hours. How else are we supposed to get them to the vet, groomer, etc.

      1. Robert says:

        Maybe it was a service snake.

    2. Harvey says:

      That’s right, CB. From the MBTA website:

      Pets on the T

      Service animals are allowed on the T at all times.

      During off-peak hours, non-service dogs are allowed at the discretion of T vehicle operators. Dogs must be properly leashed and are not allowed to annoy riders or take up a seat. For safety and convenience during rush hours, small domestic animals must be carried in lap-sized containers and out of the way of exits.

      Apparently no policy on snakes…

      1. anon says:

        “… small domestic animals must be carried in lap-sized containers … ”

        That’s the policy. It must be in a container, which this one was not.

  16. Amanda says:

    I hope they find the snake, I feel bad for it. Its going to be so cold.

  17. John Joseph Grimes says:

    It’s no wonder that she didn’t want her last name used. I think that you will find that a woman who gets on a train with a pet snake is always one who has failed in her entire life to inspire any form of sympathy from men. Forget the snake, Melissa and get a life.

  18. blue says:

    UNCOOL…pet snakes = dumb person

  19. Boa says:

    How do you spell idiot?

  20. NatureLover says:

    There are plenty of mice and even some rats to eat on the red line. There is even water in places, especially after a rain. So this snake could live and be eventually recovered.

  21. Dave says:

    What kind of idiot carries a snake like that in a public place? There is no reason for it, and it just gives the rest of us who keep reptiles responsibly a bad name. This moron doesn’t deserve to keep them.



  23. Kevin says:

    Unbelievable……we must have stupid people to complete this world such us this snake owner.

  24. Samuel L. Jackson says:

    I’m so M-F tired of these M-F snakes on this M-F TRAIN!

  25. TiaMaria says:

    Oui Vey…..

  26. emom says:

    snakes snakes snakes

  27. booboo123456 says:

    totally inappropriate. I have a serious snake phobia and would have a serious panic attack if i saw a snake while riding the T. She should be fined.

    1. DCPearceMD says:

      Of course she should be fined. If they could fine her, she wouldn’t be lost and then there would be no story.

  28. emom says:

    Is there a snake charmer in the house or the T

  29. jbjd says:

    New Year’s predictions for the comment most likely to be overheard from commuters crowded onto a rush-hour train: “Is that a snake in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”

  30. adarc says:

    It was probably freezing and slithered off toward the closest heating vent. Good luck finding it though.

  31. MrProcto says:

    This chick is obviously an idiot. I just saw here on the news weeping over her snake. Who is stupid enough to bring a boa onto a public subway? Then she “loses track” of the damn thing! I’m offering $100. bucks to the person who finds the supine, slitherer and then stomps it’s lights out!

  32. MrProcto says:

    To collect said $100. bucks one must produce the head of the aforementioned snake. Good hunting!!

  33. BLACKBEAR says:


  34. john_hudsonma says:

    This is news???!!! This girl is a fruitcake. She should rub a little chicken broth on her neck then take the snake out for a “walk” with it hanging around her neck. When it strangles her, she might change her opinion.

  35. James says:

    This woman is a clown, literally, and figuratively. I doubt there was a snake; sounds more like a play for attention. The snake removed its self from around your neck without notice; yeah right tell me another. Either way I hope see is paying the cost of stopping a train line for a 15 minute search, when you add up the ripple effect through the system that’s a lot of dollars per snake.

  36. BIll Hardiman says:

    News story for the year 2015:

    A 30 foot python lives within the subway tunnels of the MBTA feeding on mice, rats, and BC High freshmen.

  37. REDFOX says:

    Was she just taking it for a walk to exercise it or should I say a “slither”. Maybe she should have had it on a leash.

  38. CC183 says:

    Only good snake is a dead snake.

    1. dave says:

      I could say the same about snake haters.

  39. Ashley says:

    The snake is so cute. I hope it’ll be okay. I don’t why everyone is so judgemental; theres nothing wrong with owning a snake or taking it on the train if you need to transport it somewhere.

  40. cynic says:

    Is this WBZ NEWS or WBZ HISTORY… This happened forever ago.

  41. Mary C. says:

    I hope she finds her pet,alive. Unfortunately taking a cold blooded reptile out in weather like this is not conducive to it’s survival. It probably realized it needed a warmer situation and presumably slithered off into some other pocket or handbag in hopes of finding it. Mary

    1. DCPearceMD says:

      Or, perhaps it slithered off and BECAME a pocketbook or a handbag! Or, maybe it found that warm cozy third rail on the tracks and got a little “short”er.

  42. wallace1303 says:

    Is there no leash law in Boston?

  43. Aljce Polarbear says:

    Who would wear a BOA around their neck???!!

  44. Clay says:

    Needs to be in the White House where he’ll feel at home

  45. Arany says:

    For those of you who cannot completely comprehend what you read, what do you mean what kind of snake?

    “Melissa said “Penelope,” a Boa dumerili, is harmless.”

  46. Green Baron says:

    I guess this is one snake that now doesn’t have a pit to hiss in!

  47. DAVE says:


  48. Kirk says:

    Many people are very very afraid fo snakes and seeing one on an enclosed train with nowhere to run would cause as much panic as someone brandishing a gun. The only way for people to calm down once it is spotted would be to kill it.

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