Reticulated pythons can grow to 20 feet long about 150 pounds. The prehistoric predators are found in the dense, humid jungles of Southeast Asia — a fact that usually keeps them out of the drawers of Worcester hotels.
That didn’t stop a live, 5-foot-long python from being found in the Marriott Residence Inn during a routine room cleaning.
A staff member found the snake in a drawer last Wednesday, according to a Worcester animal control officer, Patrick Cherry.
“They were cleaning at 8:30 or 9 a.m., opened the drawer, and found the snake. That’s when we got the call,” Cherry said.
The python, a 2-year-old juvenile, had been left in the room by its owner, who had checked out the night before, Cherry said.
“We tried to find the owner, but he gave the clerk a fake name and just disappeared,” Cherry said.
Abandoning an animal is a crime, but it happens four or five times a year in Worcester, according to Cherry.
The python was taken to Central Mass Aquatics, a tropical fish store in Worcester. The store’s owner, Richard Wilson, said it was not the first time that he had taken in animals left by their owners.
“Animal control will bring us stuff a couple of times a year. We’re always happy to take them in,” Wilson said.
He didn’t know why anyone would have abandoned the snake, especially not in a hotel room. “This is a high-end specialty snake,” Wilson said.
Online, the pythons sell for widely differing amounts, with some costing a few hundred dollars and others reaching $6,500. No matter the price, the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife requires a permit to own a reticulated python as a pet.
According to Wilson, the snake was in good condition, and he is looking to get it into a new home.
Andrew Grant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.