At around 8:15 am Thursday, police officers and animal control in the Washington town of Camas responded to a report of large snakes in Lacamas Park.
“The initial call was for three snakes,” Camas police Sgt. Scot Boyles said of the incident. “But they found eight. They were not native to this area. They weren’t wild snakes.”
They were, in fact, pythons—ranging in length from approximately 3 feet to over 6 feet.
Due to the cool morning temperature, the snakes were lethargic and slow-moving as officers worked to collect them from the park, which is located a 20-minute drive from Portland on the other side of the Columbia River. (We regret to inform you that pythons are excellent swimmers.)
The snakes appeared to be in good health with no visible injuries.
“Our assumption is whoever put them there hoped they would slither off and have a good life,” Boyles said.
Clark County Animal Control Officer Bryan Caine and Camas police Officer Gary Manning posed for photos with the pythons, and the images later made it into a tweet from the city of Camas, reminding people not to release their pets into wild areas.
“It’s not a normal situation for for our animal control department, but I do recollect that, years ago, Officer Caine went and retrieved a snapping turtle from that same park,” Boyles said.
Lacamas is a county park so Clark County Animal Control transported the pythons to an animal shelter for examination, where they hope the reptiles can be found new homes.