SALEM, Mass. (AP) — Two girls visiting their grandfather in Massachusetts found an unexpected guest by the pool — a 1 ½-foot ball python.

The Salem News reports (http://bit.ly/2tgWkgJ ) the 11-year-old and 10-year-old made the discovery Tuesday night at their grandfather's house in Salem.

The family turned the snake over to police. Animal Control Officer Don Famico believes someone abandoned the snake. He says they haven't received calls from anyone looking for their pet.

Famico says ball pythons are not a threatening species and compared them to owning a cat or a dog. Animal experts say the snake can grow up to five feet long, and it is native to countries in Africa.

Animal experts say the python gets its name from rolling itself into a ball when threatened.

___

Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News, http://www.salemnews.com