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Python Leaves Tank In Dartmouth Frat

Saturday, July 20, 2013
Hanover — Police fear that a 3-foot ball python might be loose in Hanover.

The python escaped Thursday from its tank at the Tabard House, a coed fraternity on Webster Avenue. Dartmouth College Safety and Security reached out to Hanover Police on Friday for assistance in locating the missing snake. Police said they think the python may have exited the house through a window, but it’s also a possibility that the snake is still inside the residence.

Ball pythons are not poisonous and can reach about 4 or 5 feet long when full grown. Hanover Police are asking the public to be cautious if they see the python and to call the Police Department.

Christine Pinello, a veterinarian at River Road Veterinary Clinic in Norwich, said pythons that escape from their tanks don’t often venture outside, but will instead find a place to hide. Snakes like to hide and they often find crevices inside homes.

“We’ve had people lose snakes and they live in their house for quite a while just hiding,” Pinello said. “They’ll eventually find a snake alive or dead.”

As news spread about the potential for a loose python in Hanover, many people turned to Twitter. One person wrote, “This is the scariest thing I have ever seen,” while another person wrote, “Well this is comforting.”

But Pinello said the escaped ball python most likely won’t hurt a human or even a small pet, like a cat or dog, because a python that size would eat mice.

“A 3-foot python really isn’t big,” Pinello said. “The python is probably scared.”

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at or 603-727-3223.

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