Ecomaine Snake: Update

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 9th, 2009

Recall the recent find of a large snake in Portland, Maine?

Ecomaine employees Charlie Radley and Goran Dobric display a dead 7-foot-long python they found recently while handling recycled materials at the local Maine facility.

Missi Labbe, a cryptozoology museum supporter, who happens to be the Program Development Manager at ecomaine has forwarded an update on the snake found discarded in a Portland recycling bin.

Bob Dubois of the Maine Herpetological Society was consulted as to the probable species. He told ecomaine manager Labbe that he thought it was an African rock python (Python sebae). It is a species that is restricted in Maine, meaning that it is not to be kept unless the owner has a special permit.

Dubois admitted that the snake could be easily mistaken for the Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), which it resembles even though the two species are not closely related.

Labbe also shares the following two photographs that were unpublished, but do show the markings on the snake more clearly.

Click on the above image for a larger photo.

Missi Labbe is on the lookout for any alligators that come through ecomaine, or she hears about as being found in the sewers.

Your contributions to the research and/or museum are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

9 Responses to “Ecomaine Snake: Update”

  1. kolobe responds:

    If we could see the head it would be easier to identify

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    As noted in the previous posting, the snake was disposed of in the recycling center’s incinerator. Unless there is another unpublished photograph I don’t know about, the chance to photograph the head has been lost.

    It is human nature to often miss the trees for the forest.

  3. kittenz responds:

    Did Mr. Dubois see the snake itself, or photos, I wonder? I suppose this snake could be an Africa Rock Python, but they are much less common in captivity than are Asian Rock Pythons (Burmese &, Indian). The pattern on this snake’s back does not look like an African Rock Python to me, it looks more like a Burmese.

  4. ScottAR responds:

    From what I can see of the snake, it is a Dumeril’s boa (Acrantophis dumerili), another snake commonly kept as a pet.

  5. wutzisface responds:

    We had a similar find in Indiana on the Wabash River back in June 2007. Four guys pulled this snake out of the Wabash River. It was dead, but it hadn’t been dead long. It was 17″ around and 9’2″ long. They didn’t weigh it but it was all that 2 men could do to pick it up.

    I forwarded the pictures to Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation and Management Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. Their response was:

    “Because of the small size of the photos, I can not accurately ID the snake. However, it is certainly not native to the Wabash River, and is either a boa or python (though I am not sure of the exact species).

    As the snake was found dead, I would expect that someone dumped a dead pet in the river.”

    I have a copy of the pictures they took of it. However, I’m not sure how to post them. One of them shows the snake stretched out on the river bank with two of the guys laying beside it. I will try and forward them to Loren. The snake looks very similar to the one in the picture above.

  6. DracoRJC responds:

    It’s an Argentine boa constrictor, the suspecies occidentalis. The squarish body shape, markings, head size/shape, pretty easy for a snake nerd like myself 🙂

    I’m surprised someone would get rid of one like that… Theyre not a terribly expensive or rare snake, but if you have one, you definately had to look for it, meaning the owner almost certainly had to be a pretty big reptile fan, or had a lucky find at a pet store and had $300 in his wallet.

    NOT a Burmese or African rock python, sorry guys!

  7. bobdub responds:

    Well this is Mr. DuBois, no I didn’t see the snake in person, I just have seen the same pictures that you have.

    I thought it was an African rock based on the head pattern, the head shape is a little off, but then again its dead and been rotting. The pattern does look a bit like the burm on the back but to much speckling as it goes around, so I thought Afrock.

    DracoRJC, you are probable right, I didn’t think of the Arg. Boa, dismissed boas based on the speckling and the color. It’s hard to tell from bad picture of a snake that has been dead for awhile.

    Either way, remember someone didn’t just get rid of it. Most likely it died and they put it in the “trash” and put it in the wrong box.


  8. DracoRJC responds:

    At first glance I thought Dumeril’s boa too, but it lacks the hints of pink they often have, and something about the head color and pattern isn’t right. It’s hard to describe how to identify something when its practically second nature to me to just rattle off random reptiles. (Whoa, that was a nice alliteration.)

    Most people wouldn’t have thought ‘boa’ either, as Argentines are pretty much the only boa that has that sort of speckled pattern, and they’re not very well known to most of the public.

    It bothers me that people would throw a pet snake away like that though, no matter how it died or anything, all my snakes are beloved friends, I couldn’t bear just to chunk it in the trash can. Most of my dead pets are buried, that’s hard enough to do as is.

    Species and circumstances aside, what a weird story. :/

  9. cryptidsrus responds:

    Whatever species of snake it was, it sure was BIG.

    It’s a shame it ended up the way it did.

    Stuff like that happens…

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