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2014-03-13

'Giant huge snake' found on riverbank

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: Last week, Bandera County Sheriff's Office Investigator Rob Vela and Deputies Louis Moreno and Casey Young, along with Bandera Chief Deputy Scott MacNaughton, discovered an eight-foot long Burmese python on the riverbank.



First it was "Snakes on a Plane," now Bandera brings the sequel, "Snake on the Banks of the Medina River," according to City of Bandera Chief Deputy Scott MacNaughton, who coincidentally, is not very fond of those particular reptiles.
To be clear, however, apparently none of the law enforcement officers called to deal with the dead reptile seemed fond of that unusual duty because details of the incident seem few and far between.
On Tuesday, March 4, a call came in to emergency dispatch at 3:51 pm reporting that a "giant dead snake" had been found near the riverbank in the City of Bandera. The location was pinpointed as a grassy area near the river between the Bandera Lodge Motel and the strip mall on Highway 16 South.
When MacNaughton and his county counterparts, Bandera County Sheriff's Office Investigator Rob Vela and Deputies Luis Moreno and Casey Young, arrived, sure enough, they discovered a deceased or comatose what was later determined to be an eight-foot long Burmese python. According to reports, a local veterinarian and herpetologist were also on the scene, but remain unidentified.
At the onset of the investigation, it appeared difficult to determine if the snake were dead or simply "hibernating." However, after a thorough examination, it was ascertained the snake was indeed dead - regardless of what Moreno was told back at BCSO the next day. Native to warmer climes, snakes of this type are not equipped to survive recent frigid overnight temperatures in the Hill Country, it was reported.
Additionally, it appeared the reptile had at some point consumed a small animal. "There was definitely a large bulge like it had eaten something," MacNaughton said.
According to Wikipedia - the National Geographic website demanded too much information to access - the Burmese python is considered one of the five largest snakes in the world, native to several areas of tropic and subtropic Southeast Asia - definitely not indigenous to the Lone Star State. These snakes are often found near water and are sometimes semi-aquatic, but can also be found in trees. In the wild, this species averages 12 feet long, but may reach up to 19 feet.
In fact, the world's heaviest living snake, weighing in at a whopping 403 pounds, is a 27-foot Burmese python named "Baby" - go figure! - that currently resides at the Serpent Safari Park in Illinois.
According to City Administrator Mike Cardenas, a city employee transported the snake's carcass to the person who originally discovered the huge reptile. No other information was available.
However, never one to leave a bizarre situation uncommented upon, a local city-watching wag opined, "Well, he was a big 'un, but I'm here to say that wasn't the biggest snake to be found in this city!"