2.5-foot-long snake on the loose in Winnipeg

By | July 27, 2020

Prasad Gowder was driving by the University of Manitoba’s Smartpark Friday when he saw something strange lying in the middle of the road — a large leopard-printed snake.

Gowder, who isn’t fond of reptiles, went home to tell his spouse — who is a biologist — what he saw.

“When I described it to her she thought it was a garter snake. I said absolutely not,” he said on CBC Radio’s Up To Speed on Monday.

“This was large …  I’ve been to the dens of Narcisse. I know what garters look like. This didn’t fit.”

A large snake was spotted by a number of Winnipeggers near the University of Manitoba on Friday night. City crews say it’s still out there. (Submitted/Margaret Kapinga)

Gowder went back to the area to take a better look at the snake, and even then it hadn’t moved. He decided to snap some pictures from a physically distant location.

“I didn’t know what it was or how fast it could move,” he said of the 24-30 inch, or 60-76 centimetre-long snake.

Gowder also spoke with others who had encountered the snake — a number of whom had almost run it over while biking or rollerblading nearby, he said.

They determined it must be someone’s exotic pet.

Upon further investigation, Gowder and his spouse came to the conclusion it’s likely an African Ball Python, which is non-venomous.

The City of Winnipeg’s Animal Services Agency told CBC News it’s been searching for the snake in the area and hasn’t yet been able to find it.

On Saturday, Gowder learned something interesting in a phone call with his mother.

She said his interaction with the snake lines up perfectly with the Hindu snake festival Nag Panchami that some people in India celebrate.

“It’s maybe a sign I need to go visit.”

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