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Snake recovering after being abandoned outdoors in Anchorage, police say

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: April 3, 2017
  • Published April 3, 2017

Anchorage police were able to warm up a 6-foot-long snake after it was discovered abandoned in a terrarium near Kincaid Park on Saturday. (From APD)

An abandoned 6-foot snake is recovering after being discovered near Anchorage's Kincaid Park over the weekend.

Officers were alerted to the snake by a caller just before 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Renee Oistad said. The snake, a red-tailed boa, was spotted near the park's Raspberry Road entrance, she said.

According to a Facebook post from the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association, the caller had found a terrarium containing the "frozen and near death" snake.

"The responding officers quickly put the (6-foot) snake in a patrol car and turned up the heat," APDEA staff wrote. "Eventually the snake started showing signs of life and was moved to a safe location with heat lamps."

It wasn't clear how long it had been left outdoors. The high temperature Saturday in Anchorage was 43 degrees, with a low of 32.

"We took it down to patrol first, but they didn't have heat lamps," Oistad said. "There was an officer who had experience with snakes and did have heat lamps, so they're just fostering the snake."

The snake, dubbed "Penelope" by APDEA, was in "much better" health Monday based on its appetite, the Facebook post said.

Abandoning animals can lead to criminal charges of animal cruelty, APDEA said, urging people to contact the Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center at 907-343-8122 or via its website to surrender unwanted pets, including snakes.

The Alaska Herpetological Society offers tips for responsible amphibian and reptile ownership in Alaska in a pamphlet available online.

"It's still unknown who abandoned the snake," Oistad wrote. The investigation is continuing.

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