fb-pixel Skip to main content

A roughly 8-foot python is missing in Newton

A Burmese python on display at the python hunt awards ceremony at Zoo Miami, presented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, on Feb. 16, 2013. Peter Andrew Bosch /Miami Herald via Associated Press/Miami Herald via AP

The snake’s name is Lightning.

He’s roughly 6 to 8 feet long.

His scaly exterior is a mix of yellow and brown.

Oh — and he’s misssssssssssing in Newton, on the loose after escaping from his owner’s backyard.

Jack Galvin said Lightning took off on Tuesday evening while he was swimming and playing in the pool with his 8-year-old son, Ryder.

They were enjoying a dip in the summer heat around 5 p.m., as Lightning lounged in the grass nearby, he said, something they’ve let the snake do often in the past.

At some point, Galvin’s sister and kids came by the home on Jewett Street, in Newton Corner. Galvin said he looked away from the snake for just a few moments. When he turned back around, he said, the Burmese python was nowhere in sight.


“He was on the grass, hanging out,” Galvin said, “and then he just slithered away, beneath a fence.”

Galvin said he spent hours looking for the snake, with the help of his son and his sister’s children. They searched behind cars, in bushes, and in neighbors’s yards, hoping to wrangle the python before nightfall. They also alerted those living adjacent to his backyard, to let them know Lightning was afoot.

“We have been looking for him for the last two days,” Galvin said. “I told everyone of my neighbors. They helped me look for him. They just want to find him as well.”

The following day, when the snake still had not been recovered, an apparently “nervous” neighbor contacted Newton Police to file a report, according to Galvin.

Galvin said he spoke with officers and provided details about the missing reptile.

“They just said, ‘Keep looking for him and hopefully he turns up,’ ” he said.

A spokesman for the department confirmed that police went to the Jewett Street neighborhood to take a report about “an 8 foot Burmese python” that was missing. No other information was available, the spokesman said. Newton Animal Control officials were not immediately available for comment.


Apparently on high alert, someone else in the community took to the website Nextdoor.com, an online network where residents can share information about goings-on in their respective neighborhoods. In a post sent to the Globe, the person let others know about the snake’s disappearance.

“Not a joke,” the person wrote. “A family lost a 8 ft yellow and brown Burmese Python. If you have dog, cat or other small mammals please take note. Please call newton police department if you see the python. A police report has been filed. I am super scare and upset about the situation.”

Although the snake’s escape has apparently sparked concerns for some people, Galvin said Lightning, who is “4 or 5 inches around; maybe the size of a beer can,” had a full belly before he went on the lam.

“He actually just ate a couple little mice the day before he escaped,” Galvin said.

In an attempt to quell the concerns of pet owners, he added, “He wouldn’t be able to eat a cat or anything that big. I don’t think he’d be able to get one.”

Galvin is asking people in the area — and Newton in general — to keep an eye out for the snake, a pet that he’s had for around five years.


“The more people who know, the better chance I have of finding him,” he said. “If they see him, notify either the police or me. We will come and get him.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.