HEPHZIBAH, Ga. — In a real life version of the children’s reader “Snakes Alive!”, state wildlife officers are searching for 14 pythons in an east Georgia subdivision after a woman reported that someone let the pet snakes loose.

Jacqueline Heim told authorities the snakes were in secure cages. She suspects someone set them free deliberately this week.

Heim tells WRDW-TV (http://bit.ly/2d1S4NI ) the ball pythons are not harmful. Ball pythons, sometimes known as royal pythons, are so named because their key defense against predators is to roll up in a ball.

Priscilla Crisler of Augusta Animal Services says the snakes “typically are very docile.”

But neighbors like Shekelia Wilcher are on edge. Wilcher tells WJBF-TV (http://bit.ly/2cpnQQI ) that young children in the neighborhood wait for their school bus and “one might just crawl up on them.”

The neighborhood is in Hephzibah (HEHP’-sih-bah), about 15 miles south of Augusta.

VIAThe Associated Press
SHARE
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.