Ball python run over on North Iron St. - Local News

Ball python run over on North Iron St.

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:00 am

A female ball python 43 inches in length was found on North Iron Street Wednesday, according to Salem Animal Control Officer Jarred Brown.

Brown said a homeowner was pulling into her drive, saw the snake crossing the drive, and ran over it with her vehicle, killing it.

There have been unconfirmed reports of other pythons or large domesticated snakes, according to Brown.

“This is the first one I have picked up,” he said.

Brown stated there were not any leads as to the owner of the snake.

Ball pythons are not native to Missouri. In the Salem city limits, there are ordinances that regulate ownership of reptiles. As of Aug. 1 the city code prohibits any deadly, dangerous or poisonous reptile, or any such reptile over eight feet in any place other than a properly maintained zoological park, circus, scientific or educational institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital or animal refuge.

The ordinance has been an issue of discussion at board of aldermen meetings over the last two months.

Salem residents Derick Monday and Brandt Ehrhardt, and county resident Elmer Leach, have spoken out against the ordinance.

"Reptiles pose a one in nine million chance of being a threat to citizens, far less than many other animals," Monday said at the Aug. 5 meeting of the board.

City Administrator Clayton Lucas said last month that the city’s newly revised ordinance mirrors state regulations, except that the city's ordinance prohibits any snakes that are more than eight feet long. State regulations require registration of snakes more than eight feet.

Inspections would be done by Brown to determine whether any reptiles kept in the city limits meet the criteria to be prohibited.

Brown declined to give an interpretation of the ordinance, citing the ongoing discussion as his reason.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Sherrie Sachs posted at 12:07 am on Wed, Apr 2, 2014.

    sbslabradors Posts: 2

    What ever you do, do not call animal control! Simply run over it with your car! Who does that!

    Does this town kill everything it comes in contact with? Why would you do that? They serve a purpose in keeping down the rodent population.

  • Judy Maxwell posted at 6:22 pm on Thu, Sep 12, 2013.

    godshoneybunny Posts: 0

    I agree with all of the above comments. This does not look like any ball python I've ever seen. And I own 2 ball pythons, and have owned others in the past. There just really is NO excuse for killing a harmless species. And no excuse for not fact checking before you put something in the news. 
    As for ball pythons being dangerous, my grandchildren would beg to disagree with you. They regularly handle my very docile 5 ft male and thoroughly enjoy doing so. He has never bitten nor tried to wrap the neck of any of them, but seems to enjoy exploring both them, and their surroundings. I always supervise them when they are handling him, but it is more for his safety than theirs as little ones can get a wee bit overly enthusiastic. With so many snakes being kept as pets, I find the ignorance concerning them to be very disturbing. Granted, there are those types of snakes that shouldn't be kept as pets, and others who should only be kept by those with a lot of experience and expertise, but ball pythons aren't one of them!

  • Fake Name posted at 5:53 pm on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    BallPython Posts: 0

    10 seconds of googling will show you that it's not a ball python.  As others said, it's probably a native bullsnake.  

  • Donna Fernstrom posted at 4:16 pm on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    WingedWolfPsion Posts: 0

    It's really hard to tell from the photo, but it doesn't look a lot like a ball python. In any case, since when is a 4-foot non-venomous snake a threat to anyone? At that size, a ball python is fully grown, and no threat to anything larger than a rat. Honestly, the state of journalism in this country is shameful. Doesn't anyone do basic fact-checking anymore, before alarming the public? Open a book and match the photo, to make sure the species is correctly identified, for example. Find out whether ball pythons are considered a threat (they aren't... not anywhere. Not even to an infant). If that is a ball python, then some poor individual just lost their pet to a cruel driver, who could simply have stopped and rescued the animal. "Oh, I'm scared of snakes," is NOT an excuse for this. If someone was phobic of cats, would it be okay for them to deliberately run over a cat with their car, then brandish the body in the news and make vague statements about pets running loose? Shame on the driver, and shame on the writer of this article.

  • stephanie jordan posted at 2:05 pm on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    SJordan Posts: 0

    That's not a ball python... and even if it was, they are not dangerous. I've been keeping snakes for as long as I can remember, likely before I could even walk. I got my first pair of ball pythons when I was 5 years old... The snake in this photo is a bull snake, which is also harmless.

    Edited by staff.

  • Deb Faulhaber posted at 1:00 pm on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    SnakeLover Posts: 0

    That is not a ball python. It is a bullsnake. Which is a native to the area. You should train your animal control officers. And for the record, ball pythons are very calm and one of the best first snakes. A small child is able to handle them. Fear begets fear. I cant believe the woman ran over the snake just because she could.

  • snakegirl posted at 11:22 am on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    snakegirl Posts: 0

    One, that's not a Ball Python and two there is NOTHING dangerous about Ball Pythons! I got a ball python for my EIGHTH birthday and had him for 12 years, he never harmed a person! If an 8 year old girl can handle a ball python an animal control agent should be able to! You look foolish.

  • Karen Hulvey posted at 10:00 pm on Tue, Sep 10, 2013.

    9Catsz Posts: 0

    That's not even a ball python.  It's a bull snake which is a native species and not "potentially dangerous" at all.  

  • Nicole Swearingen posted at 6:38 pm on Tue, Sep 10, 2013.

    Find a real story Posts: 0

    You have got to be kidding me! A chihuahua is potentially more dangerous than this type of snake. Doesn't your community have any crime or real issues going on to report instead of exaggerated stories about almost four foot harmless snakes.

  • Kevin Imus posted at 6:20 pm on Tue, Sep 10, 2013.

    Barry Posts: 0

    Please, potentially dangerous. The only way a ball python is dangerous is if you trip over one, fall down a flight of stairs and get hit by a bus.

  • Ray Morgan posted at 4:06 pm on Tue, Sep 10, 2013.

    Ray Morgan Posts: 0

    This was not a "potentially dangerous snake" by any measure. 43" is near maximum size for ball pythons, and unless you are a small rodent, they are completely harmless.

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