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Search for Valley python continues into weekend

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: May 6, 2017
  • Published May 5, 2017

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough sent out a statement Tuesday, May 2, 2017, warning residents in the Meadow Lakes area to be on the lookout for a 17-foot-long snake that may be on the loose in the area. The snake pictured is “the type of snake” believed to be on the loose, according to borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan. (Mat-Su Borough)

No new sign of the 17-foot python missing in the Matanuska Valley's Meadow Lakes neighborhood since last week has been found during a search set to continue into next week.

Kirsten Vesel, director of Mat-Su Animal Care, said people looking for Sam, an albino Burmese python, scoured properties near that of owner David Hyde on West Mallard Lane. Borough officials shared word Tuesday of the missing 100-pound snake, which Hyde said he'd told neighbors about soon after its escape from his home on April 24.

"We'll be patrolling all weekend," Vesel said. "We're not giving up, but every day that passes it's less likely that snake's alive."

Neighbors helped with the search earlier in the week, but Vesel wasn't sure if any were still doing so Friday.

An additional Animal Care officer was assigned to the search through the weekend, which Vesel said involved "literally driving around the neighborhood and physically looking."

Vesel has consulted herpetology experts about Sam's survival outlook but hasn't gotten a conclusive answer on whether the snake could still be alive — which depends on several factors, including "whether it found shelter in a warm place or not."

"Those are really the big unknowns," Vesel said.

Hyde has asked that anyone who sees Sam keep watching the snake and call 911 or Hyde at 907-376-6578 to report its location.

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