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9-foot long Boa Constrictor found in Derby

The SPCA serving Erie County tells 7 News they have successfully captured and have possession of the reptile.
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 17:23:08-04

DERBY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Cindy Schmitz of Derby got the visit of a lifetime on Friday afternoon.

"I had no idea what was going on. I ran around the side of the house and there it was. The snake," said Schmitz.

Schmitz was casually relaxing with her two-year old granddaughter and dog at their home just off of Sturgeon Point Road in Derby when they heard the screaming.

"At first I was terrified. I'd never seen anything like it," said Schmitz.

A 9-foot long Boa Constrictor, a snake typically found in the rain forests of South America, had found its way onto her lawn - just off of Sturgeon Point Road on the water in Derby.

"Where. Why? How? I still don't understand," said Schmitz.

Schmitz, once whisking her granddaughter and dog to safety, working with neighbors to subdue the snake. During that time, she also called the Erie County SPCA.

"They said they would be there immediately to help. They came, and they did. Thank god we kept it in our sights ... but man, how does that happen," said Schmitz.


The snake, presumably a domesticated pet - had either escaped from its owners, or was released into the wild.

"The process of "dumping," or releasing exotic pets and animals into the wild after a period of domestication, is pretty common in Western New York. However, the animals are usually set up for failure. They either hurt themselves ... or in this case, they can hurt you," said Officer Jennifer Maleskis, a animal rescue investigator for the Erie County SPCA.

Maleskis was one of those that responded to the distress call.

"We don't know exactly how this happened .. but there will be an investigation into this. Dumping, while hard to prove, is something that can cause real danger, and there are punishments involved here," said Maleskis.

The Erie County SPCA does now have control over the snake. It is residing at a satellite facility.

"We don't have the facilities for it here. Its too big," said Maleskis.

It is currently up for adoption, or claim, depending on how the snake got into the wild.

If you are interested in this snake, please reach out to the Erie County SPCA's Wildlife Office, here.