13-foot python found in Gaston County, police say

A 13-foot-long Python that was slithering around Gaston County has been found, according to the owner.

On Sunday, Sep. 15, Gaston County Police Department's Animal Care and Enforcement division got a call that the Platinum Reticulted Python got loose from its container while the owners were visiting friends in the 300 block of Killian Road in Stanley.

“Yesterday I got done doing a snake show in Monroe,” said the snake’s owner, Rashon Bowman. “I came over to my aunt's house and told my coworker to put my big snake in the box and put the lock on it,” he continued, “and he happened not to do that and the snake got out.”

Bowman says he and his friends even used drones to try to find the reptile, whose name just so happened to be Carnage.

“He's never bit me, I mean, you can kiss him in the face and everything like that,” Bowman said. “He's just a big baby,” he said. 

The owners, friends and an Animal Care agent searched the area throughout the night and into the morning hours for the snake. They finally tracked down and captured the python at a farm down the stree around 5:30 p.m. Monday. 

“I wouldn't worry about this one as much as I would the copperheads running around,” Grover Barfield said. 

Barfield is the Director of Carolinas Reptile Rescue and Education Center. He told FOX 46 that Carnage is fairly harmless.

“A lot of people think that any snake that's crawling around that's not black is a copper head. Education is the key. You need to learn what's here and just avoid it. If you stay two to three feet away, it's not going to bother you.”

Officials advise residents to give snakes plenty of space if they're spotted. They say the reptiles often do not attack unless they're provoked.

"Snakes won’t bite if left alone and they will usually retreat if given the opportunity. Most snakes, even venomous ones, would much rather escape from people than bite them," according to NC Wildlife

Wildlife officials say in general snakes pose no threat if left alone, but pet owners should be cautious. Snakes are more likely to try to escape rather than attack, but they will bite or lunge to defend themselves.