Giant Snake Pulls a Houdini

11-foot python found at Lewisville apartment makes break for freedom

By Omar Villafranca
|  Friday, Mar 25, 2011  |  Updated 11:58 PM CDT
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Police round up 11-foot snake after it escapes from <a title=Lewisville animal control." />

Omar Villafranca, NBCDFW.com

Police round up 11-foot snake after it escapes from Lewisville animal control.

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11-Foot Snake Found Roaming Apartment Complex

A reticulated python is found in breezeway of Lewisville apartment complex.
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The scientific name for a reticulated python is Python reticulatus, but if you ask Lewisville police, it's Houdini.

Earlier this week, Lewisville police and animal control officers were called to an apartment when a resident frantically called 911 after spotting an 11-foot snake outside.

Three people rounded up the snake and secured it in a cage at the Lewisville animal shelter.

Or so they thought.

On Thursday morning, the python was nowhere to be found.

"When it went missing, we didn't know where it was, and your first thought is, 'Did someone
steal it? What happened to it? Did someone break in and take it away?'" Capt. Jay Powell said. "Looking at the building, there wasn't any sign of forced entry."

On Friday, investigators looked for more clues in the serpent caper at the shelter.

"One of those investigators had been an employee at a pet store, so he had some
working knowledge on those types of critters," Powell said. "Doing a little investigating and a little digging around themselves, they found an area where some insulation was where it normally wouldn't be."

The Lewisville officer/pet detective saw a small hole in a cinder block wall. He followed the hole up into the ceiling. After snooping around a few minutes, he foiled the python's great escape.

"The investigator with the pet store experience took care of the business end, while he hauled it down for the other investigators to take care of the back end of it," Powell said.

The python is now in a proper holding tank at the Plano Living Materials Center.

The officers are still getting over their jitters.

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