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Exotic pets, like pythons, can be big responsibility

Published: Aug. 14, 2012 at 9:01 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2012 at 9:06 PM CDT
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Albertville Police are still looking for a missing Burmese python, 11 feet long.
Albertville Police are still looking for a missing Burmese python, 11 feet long.

GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - There is still no sign of the runaway python in Albertville.

Rogue the Burmese python went missing Sunday afternoon.

Law enforcement and the snake's owner are desperate to find Rogue.

Police hope this will remind everyone about the responsibilities - legal and otherwise - that come with owning exotic pets.

Out of all of the things Lacey Herring could have for her birthday, she chose a pet.  And that pet is a ball python.

"I don't know.  I guess because they're strong and I think they're pretty.  I mean, they come in different colors and everything so…" said Herring.

Frankie Denton at Pet Depot in Guntersville said snakes are popular pets and they sell a lot of them.

"Once they get their first one or get around one and start handling it and see how gentle it is and everything, then most people really fall in love with them," she said.

Denton said the ball pythons they sell really don't get much larger than four feet in length, and they're easier to maintain than a goldfish.

"They don't make any noise.  They don't chew up anything.  They don't make a mess.  You feed them once a week," she said.

Concerning Rogue, the 11-foot Burmese python, Denton said the snake's first instinct will be to hide.

"If she's got a way to get under the house, yeah, that would be her first choice," said Denton.

She said a Burmese can go six months without eating.

Because the snake is domesticated, Denton believes the snake is in danger of being attacked by other outside pets and if the snake isn't found before winter, there could be serious consequences.

"Say when the temperatures really start getting cold...  She is a tropical snake, and cold will kill her," she said.

Denton said they do sell Burmese pythons but only by special request. She said they discourage people from getting them because they do get so large.

She said if anyone sees Rogue, they should keep an eye on her and call police.

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