17-foot python lost in Valley still not found

Update 7:30 a.m. Wednesday

The owner of a 17-foot snake loose in the Meadow Lakes area said it remains at large.

David Hyde said early Wednesday that no signs of the Burmese python were found Tuesday after Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials issued an alert to residents about the animal.

"I've searched about half a square mile, maybe a mile," Hyde said.

Check back for updates. Below is the original Tuesday story:


A 17-foot python may be loose in the community of Meadow Lakes, according to a statement Tuesday from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.


Borough Animal Care was looking for the snake, which borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan said weighs about 100 pounds. The owner first reported it missing in the area of West Mallard Lane, and the statement encouraged residents in the area of South Rainbow Street and West Swan Drive to be on the lookout for the reptile.

Animal Care director Kirsten Vesel "asks residents in the area to bring in small pets and be vigilant of your yard right now," the statement said. "Alaska's cold temperatures may weaken the snake or compel it to seek a warm place."

Sullivan said the snake, an albino Burmese python, "could potentially pose a threat to small pets and young children," but isn't a danger to adults unless provoked.

The Burmese python, one of the largest snake species, is nonvenomous. All nonvenomous snakes are legal to own as pets in Alaska, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The Department of the Interior moved in 2012 to ban importation and interstate transportation of Burmese pythons — and three other large snake species — after they established themselves as a nuisance in the Florida Everglades.

The Mat-Su Borough asks anyone who spots the snake to call 911 and Mat-Su Animal Care at 907-761-7501.

"The owner has gone door to door notifying his neighbors and has been searching for the snake," the statement said. Sullivan said there are also a number of places in the owner's home where the snake could be hiding.