8-foot red-tailed Boa Constrictor on the loose in East Haddam


EAST HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH) – There is an eight-and-a-half-foot Boa Constrictor on the loose in Connecticut. The snake was first spotted Sunday night in East Haddam, slithering across Creek Row during a rainstorm.

In a video sent into News 8, you can hear a surprised man talking as he takes a video causing a lot of interest and concern in East Haddam. 

“That’s the middle of the road and that’s him,” the man said as he panned across the snake. “He almost makes it all the way over.”

This is certainly a first for the town. 

“The first person who saw it said ‘my god this must be something out of Africa,’” explained First Selectman Rob Smith (D-East Haddam).

It is, in fact, a Columbian red-tailed boa.

“I saw the picture and it was quite surprising, I guess,” said Dan Ballack whose family owns Ballak’s Garden Center.

His mom told him about the posting on social media which Rob Peach also saw. That’s how he realized his snake escaped from his house. He thought she had been hiding in a wall.

“She likes to climb and she sits in the sun with us,” said Peach as he looked through pictures of his snake on his phone. “She’s literally she’s part of the family.”

He says the 30-pound boa is strong but gentle.

“The snake’s name is Tessie it’s short for Tesla,” said Peach who used to work for Tesla.

He believes the snake may have gotten out through a window.

“I’d just like to create some awareness that there is a big friendly snake out in the neighborhood and I don’t want anything bad to happen to her,” said Peach.

He says if you spot the snake during the day it may be sunning itself and it would be in a position with its head about a foot in the air and its mouth open. That may look menacing but he says it’s just the snake trying to gasp for air because it doesn’t do too well in the colder temperatures and it may have a stuffy nose.

He says people shouldn’t be worried. The snake only eats once every couple of weeks and it is well fed.  

“I’ve fallen asleep with her like literally around my neck and I’ve woke up so she’s a good girl,” said Peach.

Unlike a dog or cat, she won’t find her way home on her own so if someone spots her they are asked to call East Haddam Animal Control to come to pick her up. The number is 860-873-5044.

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