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African ball python on the loose in Manitoba

July 29 (UPI) -- Authorities in Winnipeg, Manitoba, are asking the public to keep an eye out for an unusual loose animal: an African ball python.

A city representative said Animal Services officers and Winnipeg Police Service cadets searched for the serpent Monday and Tuesday, but have yet to locate the snake, which was first spotted Friday by local resident Prasad Gowdar.

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Gowdar said he spotted the snake near the University of Manitoba while he was driving home Friday. He said he swerved to avoid hitting the animal and pulled over to take photos of it.

The City of Winnipeg confirmed the reptile appears to be a 2.5-foot African ball python. The snake is believed to be young, as adults of the species typically measure between 4 and 5 feet in length.

Experts said the snake is non-venomous and unlikely to pose any threat to humans.

Officials said the snake is believed to be an escaped pet, but so far no one has come forward to report a missing python in the city. The officials said they are concerned for the welfare of the snake, as it is unlikely to survive on the loose for very long in the local climate.

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