A two and a half metre long boa constrictor is on the loose somewhere in the region of City Park and Gate Road after escaping through the open bathroom window of a ground floor flat on the corner of Gate Road and Gate Avenue. It is thought that the snake could have slithered off into the wooded area of City Park on the opposite side of Gate Road.
The pet snake, which is as thick as a wine bottle but not fully grown, got out of the flat late on Friday afternoon. Police say the animal is potentially dangerous but will not attack humans unless it is provoked. They explained that the snake, named Barry, will only feed on small animals such as mice. Local cats and dogs are not at risk. But under no circumstances should anyone attempt to capture the snake if they find it.
Specialist search officers are combing the immediate area, and people who live nearby have been told to be on their guard and keep an extra special watch over young children. Residents have been warned not to approach the snake if they see it but to call the police immediately.
Barry's owner and reptile specialist, Ken Siu, 46, was confident Barry would reappear soon. 'I know Barry will come out of hiding soon because he will be hungry. Even if he is in the park, he won't have been able to find enough to eat. And Barry likes his food. I've kept a lot of snakes as pets over the years, but I've never had one go missing before. Barry broke out of his glass cage in the living room and found his way out through the bathroom window. I've told the police I think he will be up a tree in the park. He will be a bit scared and trees will provide safety for him. I hope we find him soon. I'm very worried for both Barry and the general public. I’ve been out looking for him ever since he escaped.'
Police, working with Mr Siu and other reptile specialists, are doing their utmost to get Barry back into captivity before anything bad happens to either him or a member of public.