Seven-foot boa constrictor briefly on the loose in a Fraser Valley neighbourhood

Nearby residents warned ‘Copper’ was missing but was quickly found in a bucket

Residents of a Chilliwack neighbourhood were briefly on the lookout for a pet who got away from its owner last Friday.

Copper, a seven-foot boa constrictor, was apparently having some outside time with its owner when it just slithered away and couldn’t be found.

Neighbours of the home where Copper lived were told that the peach-coloured snake was on the loose and was most likely in their townhouse complex east of the downtown area.

“It was the house right beside the complex I live in,” Susan Hunt said in a Facebook comment in response to a question about Copper. “It wasn’t loose for very long, but was thought to be loose in our complex, which caused panic among some owners here (my daughter included)!”

Apparently, the owner put out the word that the snake was missing. Soon after, he or she was found in a bucket in their yard.

“Super cute snake and very friendly,” Amanda Adams commented.

Boa constrictors are not dangerous to humans, even if unexpectedly spotting one in the backyard might make for a shocking experience.

The species is, however, on the list of controlled alien species as a “restricted” reptile. All boa constrictors are on that list, Copper included. If Copper, however, grew another two feet or so, he or she would fall into another category.

The reptile restriction category refers to snakes under three metres in length. Beyond that puts them into the “prohibited” category meaning owning one requires a permit to possess, breed, ship or transport in B.C.

Under the Wildlife Act, the Controlled Alien Species Regulation – which was passed in 2009 after a woman was killed by her boyfriend’s pet tiger – it is a violation to allow a snake to get loose.

• READ MORE: Ban drives exotic pet showmen snaky

“A person must not release a restricted species individual or prohibited species individual or allow a restricted species individual or prohibited species individual to be released, or to escape.”

The punishment? Penalties associated with breeding or releasing for a first-time offender are one of the following: Fines ranging from $2,500 to a maximum of $250,000; a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

The B.C. government designated approximately 1,200 species of animals as controlled alien species in the regulation. The list contains hundreds of animals, including poison dart frogs, giraffes, hyenas, howler monkeys, crocodiles, and a long list of snakes.

The BC SPCA, for its part, has a broad opposition to breeding and keeping exotic or wild animals at all. There are a number of reasons why, including that many are acquired for status and owners do not have consideration for specialized needs. There is also the fact that few veterinarians possess the training and experience to deal with needs of exotics.

One of the main concerns is the reality that because exotic animals are often obtained for status or the “cool” factor, some exotics become unwanted after the novelty wears off.

“The result is poor animal welfare, a high rate of euthanasia, and widespread abandonment of these animals,” according to the BC SPCA. “The Humane Society of the United States estimates that in the United States alone, 90 per cent of exotic pets die ‘within the first two years of captivity.’”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Delta police trauma dog retires after nine ground-breaking years of service

Caber was Canada’s first accredited justice facility dog, paving the way for dogs to support victims country-wide

Delta Sports Hall of Fame to honour 2019’s Sport Champions

Past and present inductees will be honoured at a gala banquet in Tsawwassen on Saturday, Oct. 26

Body found after fire at Surrey gas station

Fire crews called to the 8700-block of Harvie Road, in Port Kells

Surrey tops list of most delayed, congested TransLink bus routes

TransLink says delays are costing $75 million a year

No injuries reported after ‘T-bone’ collision in South Surrey

Three-vehicle collision occurred at 184 Street and 40 Avenue intersection

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

VIDEO: Depth and scoring lacking for Vancouver Giants this season: Coach

G-Men defeated on home ice Sunday by Victoria – next up Everett on Friday

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Most Read