Springfield Family Finds Four-Foot Python in Backy

Published 08/20 2013 06:39PM

Updated 08/28 2013 04:22PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Springfield family provides care for an intruder that slithered into their yard.

Lisa Underwood heard her dog barking and went outside to find a Ball Python. It either escaped from the owner or may have been let loose.

"I opened up the back door and I didn't see anybody and when I looked over there was this huge snake! I immediately shut the door, because I'm deathly afraid of snakes."

That's when she called for help.

"I'm on the phone with any male I could think of. I've got a huge snake in my backyard. Please come over!"

Her son-in-law and her neighbor came over.

"We thought I was just seeing things because there's a pipe back there, we thought maybe that was it."

They moved a log to find a four-foot Python.

"We've lived here almost 5 years and I've seen just garden snakes, and to see a python in my backyard was quite shocking."

"The Ball Pythons are very prevalent," says Mike Crocker with Dickerson Park Zoo. "They make good pets as far as snakes go. They only grow to about four feet, occasionally longer than that."

He says there are tons of all kinds of reptiles in private ownership these days, so this kind of thing can happen.

"It's either escaped, or in some cases, unfortunately, they probably turned them loose."

He says there are many other snakes that grow much larger than the one Lisa found in her backyard, but it still can be dangerous.

"It's the fact that they're powerful constrictors. All snakes have a mouth full of needle sharp teeth and the bigger the snake, the bigger the teeth are."

"We have two smaller dogs that I'm concerned about," adds Lisa, "and of course the kids."

Lisa called 911 and was transferred to a non-emergency line. The city was going to send animal control.

She was afraid the snake would be killed, so now her daughter has it.

If someone comes to claim the snake she will return it to the owner, if not, she's going to take care of it.

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