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7-foot python found in South Philly

The large snake made his own bid for independence on the Fourth of July.
An ACCT staffer shows off Petunia, the 7-foot Burmese python found in South Philly. (Provided)

A homeowner in South Philadelphia had a surprise visitor on the Fourth of July, when a Burmese python was discovered in a flower planter in front of the home.

In a story of an animal perhaps seeking a little independence of its own on July 4, the 7-foot, 12-pound python was found in a flower planter near the intersection of 23rd and Tasker streets after a South Philly homeowner called police, according to Ame Dorminy, a spokeswoman for the Animal Care and Control Team in Philadelphia.

“The homeowner knew enough to know that this wasn’t a natural species for the area,” said Dorminy during an interview on Wednesday.

She said that animal control officers took the snake into ACCT’s shelter, where it will be kept for the next day or so. Dorminy said that the snake is healthy and seems friendly – she believes that the python is someone’s lost pet.

“He’s really friendly, and he’s in really good condition,” she said. “We believe he’s someone’s pet who got out.”

It is not illegal to own a Burmese python in Philadelphia, Dorminy said, noting that the snake isn’t venomous or poisonous.

While they hold the animal, Dorminy said, they have nicknamed the snake “Petunia.”

If the owner doesn’t come forward in the next few days, she said, the python will be turned over to another authority, such as a nature preserve or special shelter for reptiles, because ACCT’s shelter isn’t really the best place to house the animal. These types of snakes can grow as large as 20 feet long and weigh 200 pounds.

If you’ve lost a Burmese python in South Philadelphia, contact ACCT at 267-385-3800 or visit acctphilly.org to find out how to be reunited with your pet.