Fisherman this week discovered a very large dead snake floating in the icy cold Chagrin River in northeastern Ohio. They fished out the body and reported it to officials, but also took pictures documenting the retrieval.
The news anchor in the Fox News piece notes that the snake was a “boa constrictor” but the rest of the piece just says “constrictor”. The length was noted to be 16 feet. Not many other details were available. It appears the body was decomposed and a head is not visible. The length, apparent girth of the snake, and the skin coloration in the photos indicate it is NOT a Boa Constrictor. Boas have a different skin pattern and do not grow this large. Pythons do. Pythons are “constrictors” in that they squeeze their prey to death. So do anacondas. Constrictors are still very dangerous but do not kill by lethal venom. I suspect it is a python but perhaps knowledgeable readers can comment on this.
As noted in the article, the biologist consulted assumed this was a case of pet released into the wild. Mike Durkalec said that he had previously found a dead snake himself once along a river and has seen another body brought in by fishermen. This one was much larger. Since snakes are excellent at escaping, it could have been an unintentional release. Snakes this size can pose a threat to small children, pets and livestock but they are only active in temperatures above 60 degrees or so. They can not tolerate cold conditions for long and will not make it through a northern winter. Yet. Give climate change time. Invasive snakes such as pythons are causing serious problems in Florida where conditions are perfect for them to thrive in the wild.
Back in August, people reported seeing a large snake in a Maine river. No word if this body was ever found or if it was a hoax.