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Archive for Tuesday, August 11, 1998

5-FOOT-LONG SNAKE SLITHERS INTO BARBECUE GRILL

August 11, 1998

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A Lawrence man found a visitor inside his grill Monday: A 5-foot-long boa constrictor.

Lance Mullen was about to put some items on the grill for dinner Monday night, when he opened it and noticed there was something already inside.

A 5-foot Colombian boa constrictor was wrapped around the inside of his gas grill.

``At first I kind of jumped back. It was kind of a startling experience,'' he said.

Mullen called police, the Lawrence Humane Society and WildCare, but none of those agencies was willing to come and remove the snake.

Then he contacted Roy Engeldorf, owner of Scales & Tails Pets, 2201 W. 25th, who arrived at the home in the 2500 block of Ousdahl.

``I just picked it up,'' Engeldorf said of the snake.

He said the animal appeared to be in good condition.

``It had probably just eaten, and was probably looking for a place to get holed up and digest its food,'' Engeldorf said.

He took the snake to his shop and was keeping it there.

Scales and Tails specializes in reptiles.

Engeldorf said he wasn't sure what he was going to do with the animal.

``If someone came claiming to be its owner and really wanted it back I would probably give it back,'' he said. ``But I might be afraid that it would get loose again. I would really stress that they had a secure cage.''

Mullen echoed Engeldorf's comments.

``If you have a pet like that you need to keep it where it can't get out or where little kids can get hurt,'' he said.

Engeldorf said he was glad Mullen called him about the animal.

``I'd hate for somebody to get hurt and then turn around and kill the snake,'' he said.

Boa constrictors are not poisonous and are generally docile, but like any snake, they could bite.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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