Check under your beds – and boats – East Coasters; a giant snake is on the loose.
A rogue, 20-foot-long boa constrictor is allegedly slithering around Hopatcong, New Jersey, reports CBS New York. Residents have spied the snake swimming in Lake Hopatcong, the state’s largest lake, but have been unable to capture the creature.
“It’s scary, because you don’t know where he’s creeping from, so we just want it caught,” said Michelle Poli, who has spied the reptile swimming near her boathouse several times.
The area’s animal care and control officers are working to end this real-life version of Anaconda, using reported sightings to help them find and capture the boa constrictor. Until the snake is wrangled, authorities have several safety suggestions for Lake Hopatcong residents and visitors.
“What we’re afraid of is the animals – small dogs, cats, raccoons – and I would advise people not to put their baby in the lake,” said animal control Officer Dale Sloat. “A snake this size can probably swim about 25 miles an hour.”
Sloat thinks the animal used to be someone’s pet but was later released into the water when it became too large. However, Lake Hopatcong is no place for a snake of this size, and officers are determined to catch the colossal critter before it causes any harm. While boa constrictors aren’t venomous, officials are worried the snake will attempt to squeeze someone to death if cornered.
Residents are understandably staying away from the water until this unexpected visitor is on its way to a snake sanctuary.