Full-scale alert! Search is on for 14 pythons deliberately let loose in town

Wildlife officials have been searching for 14 pythons which were deliberately set free from their owner’s home. They were called in after Jackie Heim found her 16 ball pythons had been let loose in the town of Hephzibah, Georgia. She said she retrieved two of them when she went searching after realising what had happened but the others were still at large. Officials from the Department of Natural Resources warned neighbours to be on the look-out but said the snakes were harmless and more likely to slither away and hide if they encountered a human.

They typically are very docile. They’re not fast to bite. They’re more likely to ball up in a ball like the name suggests and hide than anything else

Priscilla Crisler, Augusta Animal Services

Ms Heim raised the alarm by sending a message out on Facebook when the snakes were released from their secure cages. She is convinced it was a deliberate act and said someone was being questioned over the incident. “I was in the middle of moving and a person I’m just not going to mention right now was upset at me and did it, just kind of a childish thing, and let them out,” she said. “I’m very upset. I had my few hours of tears already over my snakes. I’m not sure if I’m going to get them back.”

It’s a different kind of pet, but you do grow attached to them. You do grow affectionate for them

Snake owner Jackie Heim