FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) – In recent years, Colorado has been a magnet for out-of-staters looking to take in some of the unique mountainous scenery the state has to offer.
A Fort Collins resident with the Animal Friends Alliance was caught off guard, however, when one of those transplants, reptilian in nature, was found meandering through a suburb in late September.
The name of that transplant is Bagheera, but worry not, for this one is much kinder than the “The Jungle Book’s” black panther of the same name.
FOX31 spoke with Kate Boyd with the Northern Colorado Herpetological Society, which, along with the Animal Friends Alliance, assisted the snake-discovering resident during this one-of-a-kind reptile-focused occurrence within the Centennial State.
Bagheera: First boa constrictor to hike at 5,003 feet of elevation, allegedly
On Sept. 29, the 16-pound 10-year-old female boa constrictor, five-and-a-half feet in length, was seen slithering through a garden in front of a home in a Fort Collins suburb.
Boyd said that a neighbor noticed the female boa constrictor slithering through their plants, took a photo and reached out to the NCHS, who in turn identified the snake’s species and offered suggestions on how to proceed.
These suggestions included safely putting the animal in a breathable container for transport and delivering it to the NCHS, but only if the caller felt safe doing so.
Reptiles, as you may know, are animals typically fond of warmer climates. When they are in colder climates, like the high-altitude topography found in Fort Collins, they become more docile and less aggressive.
Boyd said that when she was located, Bagheera was very friendly in nature and simply in exploring mode. When the resident that located her tried to get her into the container for transport, the snake responded well and seemed to appreciate the warmth of the person picking her up.
After being taken to the Northern Colorado Herpetological Society, a health examination of Bagheera revealed that she was relatively healthy, and a short time after that her owners were found.
The owners had not reached out to animal agencies after noticing their snake was missing because they assumed she was hiding somewhere inside the house.
Boyd said that these kinds of constricting snakes are surprisingly strong, and are capable of opening doors through the use of pressure.
Presumably, Bagheera had used this technique to sneak out of her home before going on a slither of a hike, which ended about eight houses down the block from where she started.
How the Animal Friends Alliance can help you
The AFA is not just a resource for animal handling situations like this.
They are also helpful to those entering the realm of pet adoption. You can peruse their adoption information on their adoption page. They also take donations.
Be sure to always use caution when approaching animals that seem distressed or out of place and contact animal control in case of an emergency.