Roanoke, VA - For the past five days an 8-foot-long python has been on the loose in a Roanoke neighborhood.
But animal control says, you have little to worry about.
Nick Shreffler only had his pair of Iranian Jaya Carpet Pythons for just over a week before the female took off, leaving her mate depressed and a neighborhood on edge.
If you ask Shreffler, there is absolutely nothing to worry about as his python makes her way through his northwest Roanoke neighborhood.
"Please don't kill it. Some people's first instinct would be to kill a snake if they see it; it is harmless," said Shreffler.
The trouble started early Saturday when he found the weighted-down lid to their tank open and the snake gone, apparently through a crack beneath his snake shed's door.
"We've had a couple during my career... a couple that have escaped," said Quesenberry.
The news has kept the phones ringing at animal control.
Some callers are concerned about the snake, and others are worried about their pets and kids.
"It's doubtful that the snake would take on that type of prey, so to speak, but it's not out of the question once the snake gets hungry," said Quesenberry.
Shreffler says he hand feeds the 7-year-old python and says it doesn't know how to hunt. He just hopes he gets his pet back before someone else takes it, or does worse.
"I haven't had her but maybe two weeks. The guy I got her from had her the whole seven years and he's disappointed and I'm disappointed and I really want to get her back," he said.
In the meantime, her longtime partner isn't taking the absence well.
"He just stays moped down in the corner; hides in the water dish and stuff. There is no activity in the tank anymore," said Shreffler.
Shreffler has been collecting snakes for four years and has 16 including the missing one. He hopes to eventually have 200 snakes in his collection.
In case you're wondering, there are no restrictions on pet snakes in the City of Roanoke although there is a petition underway to try to change that.