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Giant Caribbean Snake Sighted

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 4th, 2006

Alsophis antiguae

 

Alsophis antiguae (pictured above) is a harmless grey-brown four-foot long snake, found only on Antigua, a small Caribbean island, thus it carries the common name the Antigua Racer Snake. It is considered the rarest snake in the world, with approximately 200 existing on a small island off the coast of Antigua.

But is there a bigger unknown snake on a nearby island?

Breaking news seems to indicate as much:

The Department of Environment [on the Caribbean's Cayman Islands] said it was called to investigate a report of a large snake in the vicinity of Newlands recently after a resident said they had seen a snake that appeared to be some ten feet in length. (My emphasis – LC.)

However, the sighting was made during the night and they were unable to make out any distinctive markings on the animal.

A visit to the area yielded no sign of the mysterious creature, however, the Department remains on alert for any future sightings.

“We have had several reports of large exotic snakes over the years, they have invariably turned out to be our local Racer,” said Dr Mat Cottam, Terrestrial Ecologist with the Department of Environment.

“Racers can reach a length of four or five feet, but like all of our local snakes, they do not present any danger to people. Nonetheless, pet snakes have escaped in the past, and there is always a first time for something new to appear. We will continue to take this report seriously until further information becomes available.”

When asked whether such a snake might pose a threat to children in the area, Dr Cottam responded that this was a difficult question to answer in light of the fact that the size and species of the snake had not been confirmed.

“Until we are able to determine for sure what this creature is, and how large it is, it would be wise to err on the side of caution. Snakes do not generally go out of their way to attack people, and are best left alone. No snake should be approached, unless you are absolutely familiar with the species,” he warned.

Source: Saturday, November 4, 2006 "Newlands snake sighting remains a mystery " Cayman Net News  Cayman Islands

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


11 Responses to “Giant Caribbean Snake Sighted”

  1. Jeffro responds:

    I read the headline and it said giant snake, then I saw the picture and said to myself “thats no where near giant” But I see now that the image is the racer snake. Hopefully they find out some more information about that critter.

  2. CryptoInformant responds:

    Well, that just might be kind of interesting, if it’s not just a pet.

    P.S. I just finished a PC game I have called MechWarrior IV: Vengeance, and saw in the credits that Loren Coleman was one of the designers on it, so I’m just wondering what exactly a cryptozoologist designed in one of my favorite games that includes controlling giant robots.

  3. Trapster responds:

    It is worth noting that even if the snake is indeed ten feet long.. it’s most likely not large enough to “eat” a person or child. It’s diameter could be anywhere from 2″- 5″.

    I suppose it could be an escaped huge venomous snake of some type.. so there would be danger there.. but I doubt that even more highly. Anyone missing a king cobra or black mamba?

  4. busterggi responds:

    Considering all the exotics getting released down in Florida & elsewhere, I expect a lot of giant OOP snakes are going to be found.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    I am not familiar with this area, but I’d be willing to say that unless there is a history of sightings of this larger snake, then it could possibly be an imported one. Sometimes exotic species are introduced or escape into the wild and if this is the case, it could be a problem for the local flora and fauna, possibly a danger to young children. I would probably guess that it is a boa or python as these are often kept as pets and I can’t think of any reason why people would be fooling around with large venomous snakes in this area. Boas and pythons are generally quite docile, but I think the warning not to approach them until the species is known is a good idea. If it is in fact a known exotic species, I hope they find the poor thing soon before it hurts somebody or itself. Would like to hear further developments on this one!

  6. joppa responds:

    Too many years ago I was attending my first week at Boy Scout camp in East Tennessee. As we unpacked our gear in our canvas covered tent-cabins, my cabin mate started screaming bloody murder.

    I glanced up and my face was three inches from the biggest snake I had ever seen in my life. It was 15 feet long, green with brown spotting. As good Scouts should we emptied some other kids footlocker and captured the giant using brooms and shovels.

    We were convinced that we had discovered a new species of giant Tennessee killer snake, who had been lurking right there in our camp waiting to devour the next Scout. It had probably already devoured several other Tenderfoots given its size.

    We triumpantly marched our prize to Camp headquarters to call the local papers and press. When we arrived, the camp director was overjoyed that we had found his pet python Bilbo and who had escaped his cage some three weeks earlier and had safely traversed over
    one half mile to our camp through woods, creeks and wild Boy Scouts.

    My guess is that ol’ Bilbo has gone on vacation in the Cayman’s after slipping out of his master’s cage.

  7. TheHunter responds:

    With all of the travel and trade of exotic pets in this day and time, I am in agreement with Mystery_Man, it is most likely an OOP python. However since the area is a subtropical region the possibility of a large, unidentified cryptid snake is possible. The question that needed to be asked was also hit on by Mystery_Man, “Have there been a history of sightings of this (type) of snake prior to this account?”

  8. kittenz responds:

    Having had pet boas and pythons, among other snakes, as treasured pets in my home for years, I don’t think of a 10 ft. snake as a “giant”.

    Pythons were strictly Old-world snakes, but several areas including the Florida Everglades now have breeding populations of Burmese pythons (and Boa constrictors) living wild … you can’t really call them “feral” because feral means an animal of a domesticated species that has returned to the wild, and no snake species has ever been domesticated. I prefer to call them “escapes”.

    Boas are almost exclusively New-world species, and many Caribbean islands have native species or subspecies of boas. Maybe this snake is a native, but previously unknown, species. Could be a boa, or even a type of racer. Some of our indigo snakes and black racers here can attain a length of 10 feet.

    Snakes are excellent swimmers, too, and it’s possible that the snake was a transient which swam to the island, or floated on debris and landed there.

  9. Trapster responds:

    The only other thing I could think of.. beyond someones pet getting away would be something along the lines of a snake boarding a commercial ship of some kind in a port along with cargo in central or south america.. the largest being an anaconda or boa (however both are unlikely due to their typical habits) and making the trip out there into the shipping lanes where it departed it’s ship and made a swim for it.
    I was down in that area a few months ago and hiked around really wanting to see one of the super rare snakes but no luck.. by the end I was desperate even to see a mongoose (the reason there are no more snakes) but no luck seeing one of those either.

  10. mystery_man responds:

    I’m suprised that the mongoose actually ate the snakes. They introduced mongoose down in Okinawa a long time ago to get rid of the venomous “habu”, which is a type of snake. However, instead of eating the snakes, they went after easier prey, namely other native animals that had no defense against this new predator. Now, mongoose are a major problem there and ironically, the habu are still around.

  11. Mnynames responds:

    Ol’ Bilbo is lucky he encountered such good Scouts. Had my old troop encountered him, doubtless, he’d be returned to the Scoutmaster in a few pieces, my protests aside.



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