A python believed to be 10 to 16 feet long was seen slithering around the cranberry bogs in Kingston this week.
The snake was first spotted by a resident in wetlands near the Independence Mall on Monday, and Amy Mahler, spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife responded to investigate.
By the description, it might be a Burmese python, which is legal to own in Massachusetts, or a reticulated python, which is illegal, Mahler said.
“We’re assuming it’s someone’s pet,” said a spokesman for the mall, Dave Desrochers. “It either escaped from a cage, or someone didn’t want to take care of it anymore.”
Desrochers said the witness estimated its length. Desrochers emphasized that the python never entered the mall.
Mall security and animal control officers are on alert in case the python is spotted.
“For all we know, it could be long gone,” Desrochers said.
A spokeswoman for Fisheries and Wildlife said, “There’s so many unknowns. . . . We just can’t even begin to know what we’re looking for.”
She said if the python is captured it will go to a zoo if it does not need treatment.
“We hope [the python] stays out of harm’s way,” she said.
She believes the python is a pet and said, “Whoever had [the python] is not coming forward.”
If there are any sightings, witnesses are asked to contact Jason Zimmer of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, at 508-759-3406.