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Residents Alarmed to Hear of Missing Snake

February 13, 2006

REXBURG, Idaho (AP) _ Residents of an apartment complex are keeping an eye out for a neighbor’s python, which was reported missing this week. The 8 1/2-foot Burmese python escaped from its cage sometime Wednesday, said owners Chelsea Carter and Jeff Perrenoud.

They think the snake, named Bessy, went through a hole in their bathroom wall. They went around the complex this week putting up signs about their missing snake, and offering tips on how to handle her.

``She is very friendly, but we want everyone to be very cautious around her because the hole she fell through had nails in it, so I am sure she was hurt and is cranky,″ Perrenoud said. ``We hope she is just curled up in the wall in our apartment.″

Some of their neighbors are not afraid of snakes, and took the news calmly.

``I thought it was hilarious,″ Chelsea Grafe said. ``It will probably sneak up in the bed when my husband and I are asleep and try sleeping with us to get warm.″

But one family spent the night with friends.

``I am deathly afraid of snakes,″ Lindsay Garner said. ``I haven’t been up to my apartment since I found out.″

Perrenoud reported the missing snake to local police and animal control officers, but asked neighbors to tell him first if they find it. Meanwhile, he and Carter have asked the building managers for permission to remove a wall to get at the place where they think the snake is hiding.

Carter’s father, who owns a wallboard company, has offered to rebuild the wall.

``We just want to get her back,″ Perrenaud said. ``It is Chelsea’s baby. She has been in tears about it ever since Bessy went missing.″

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