Big snake killed in St. Rose wasn’t python, expert says


April 01, 2011 at 9:11 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

When parish workers were surveying water depths in the Parish Line Canal, they killed a 6-foot-long snake that they believed was a python. But according to Jeff Boundy, with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, it was actually a diamond-backed water snake.

Last week, Kenneth Thompson, a St. Charles Parish drainage worker, was following the railroad tracks near the Parish Line Canal when he came across a large snake sunning himself near the water’s edge. Thompson took the push-pole from the airboat and killed the large snake, which was more than 6 feet long.

“I don’t know where the snake came from. It could have fallen off the train or could have been released or escaped as a pet,” Thompson said.

Thompson said that temperatures were cool when he spotted the snake and that the reptile was moving  slowly.

“It scared all the workers so I decided to kill it,” he said. “The snake was over 6 feet long and larger than my arm.”

Because of its size, Thompson believed the snake was a python. But when a picture was sent to Wildlife and Fisheries, Boundy identified it as a diamond-backed water snake.

“They can be very common along canals and lakeshores in south Louisiana,” Boundy said. “They grow to about 6 feet long, and are non-venomous.”

Boundy said that while owning a python is legal, the species of python that can grow to 12 feet or more require a restricted snake permit.

That permit is provided after a facility inspection.
Boundy said he has no valid reports of escaped pythons in Louisiana.

Outdoor reporter Bruce McDonald contributed to this report.




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