Boa Constrictors Found Beside Playground

East London parents 'terrified' at sight of snakes
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2014 3:55 PM CDT

Talk about unwelcome visitors: Two 8-foot boa constrictors were spotted in an east London park last week and drew a small crowd when police came to remove them, the BBC reports. The snakes, which can grow to 18 feet, were spotted by "terrified parents" beside the park's playground for children, says the Daily Mail. "I’m not going anywhere near the park until they call in the experts and figure out why the park is full of snakes—there is no chance my kids are going there to be gobbled up until they sort this out," said a 31-year-old father of two.

Actually, the reptiles first asphyxiate their prey—which (at least in captivity) tend to be little creatures like mice, rats, and rabbits. In a big city, cats and small dogs may be most at risk. An owner who couldn't keep the snakes likely set them free in Plashet Park, says the Mail, leaving them to be grabbed by police with litter pickers and dropped in evidence bags. "This is certainly the most bizarre call I can think of my officers dealing with during my time in Newham," said a police official. British papers didn't report on the fate of the snakes. See a video of the police action, or read about a 20-foot-snake in a New Jersey lake. (More boa constrictor stories.)

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