Somewhere, a home is missing its reticulated python

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By Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer An 8-foot-long stray python discovered slithering on a rural Placer County road has found a temporary home in Auburn. The yellow head reticulated python was discovered on Dyer Lane in Western Placer County on Sunday evening by a patrolling sheriff’s sergeant. After consulting with Placer County Animal Services, the officer scooped the non-venomous snake up and into a large cooler before transporting it to Auburn. Animal Services Program Manager Mike Winters said the North Auburn shelter isn’t equipped to care for exotic animals like pythons so it enlists a rescuer to help out – in this case Robert Bissell, owner of Downtown Auburn’s American River Reptiles. Bissell said that the snake came in underweight but otherwise appeared healthy. A 2-year-old used to humans, it would sell for $300 but Bissell said he suspects it was dumped. “The owner could reclaim it but would have to answer to the sheriff’s office about why it was dumped 30 miles from nowhere,” Bissell said. “It’s disappointing when someone would do that.” The snake could have been out in the wild for up to three months but with colder weather coming on, it wouldn’t have lasted into the winter, Bissell said. Steve McNally, an animal control officer with the county, said that it’s legal to own a python but illegal to abandon it. “This one either escaped or was abandoned,” McNally said. The python joined a California Desert Tortoise also rescued over the weekend and in Bissell’s care. The tortoise was found Saturday in the Bowman area. If the animals aren’t claimed within six business days, Bissell said he can find another home for them.