A baby “African Ball Python” escaped from exotic pet store through opportunist thieves

The exotic pet store of the 149 Plaistow Road is often being the target of animal thieves.

On Friday evening, an employee reported the $150 snake had been stolen the day before, according to Sgt. Glenn Miller. Police are waiting to see surveillance video of a man who allegedly took the snake out of a holding tank and put it in his pocket, Miller said. The suspect then left with another man and a young girl.

It’s not the first snake stolen from the 149 Plaistow Road store. Two former managers were indicted last year for stealing $29,000 worth of merchandise, including two granite-back reticulated pythons.

Another former employee was arrested in December after she and her boyfriend were caught on video tape stealing a Chihuahua from the store.

The ball python is named for its habit of curling up in a ball. Since the stolen snake was just a few months old and about 12 inches long, it was easy for the suspect to pick it up out of the holding tank and fit it in his pocket, said Mike Cordeiro ,manager of the snakes.

Ball Python is the smallest of the African pythons and is very popular in the pet trade.

Adults generally do not grow to more than 90-120 cm (3-4 feet) in length, although some specimens have reached 152 cm and even 182 cm (5-6 feet), but this is very rare. The build is stocky while the head is relatively small.

The color pattern is typically black with light brown-green side and dorsal blotches. The belly is a white or cream that may or may not include scattered black markings. However, those in the pet industries have, through selective breeding, developed many morphs: genetic mutations with altered colors and patterns.

The name ball python refers to the animal’s tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened.
Due to their smaller size compared to other pythons and commonly docile temperament, these snakes are bred in captivity and have become popular as pets.[8] Juveniles tend to be more aggressive at first, but typically calm down as they get used to human contact. Their longevity is 20-40 years, with the oldest captive specimen on record reaching 48 years of age.

Source:The Eagle Tribune

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