‘Snake man’ rescues python found in Toronto apartment
A snake that somehow slithered its way up two floors and into a stranger’s apartment was pulled out of a wall Wednesday, much to the relief of the couple who had encountered it in their bedroom.
Roger Kerr said he woke up around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday when he heard a strange noise and saw something on the ground near his dresser. Suspecting a phone had somehow fallen off the dresser, he got up and grabbed the item, only to find that it was something much more startling.
“It was a snake wrapped around the charging cord for the phones,” Kerr told CTV Toronto. “It’s very scary.”
Kerr said the snake crawled into the radiator vent after he tried to shoo it away with a broom. Tuesday came and went without the snake reappearing.
“They said he’s behind there, but I’m so scared. If I feel something crawling … I just get panic,” said Beverly Lewin, Kerr’s wife.
Although a number of people came by to try to help remove the snake, Kerr was consistently advised that a plumber’s help would be required. Kerr and Lewis stayed out of their bedroom Tuesday night, barring the crack below the door to ensure the snake would not escape.
A plumber showed up Wednesday morning. So did a self-described “snake man” who identified himself as George Warner and said he had been handling snakes for decades.
After a wall was partially opened up, Warner pulled the snake to safety.
Speaking to reporters, Warner said the snake was likely a python that had been kept as a pet and did not pose a threat to humans.
“He won’t bother anybody,” he said. “He just wants to eat. He’s fine.”
Warner named the snake Leo. He said he planned to take the snake home, feed it and keep it as a pet.
Martina Ricci, from Reptilia Zoo, said that it was a ball python, which is legal to keep in the City of Toronto as a pet.
“It’s non-venomous and a relatively small species, so they are quite harmless to humans,” she said.
Lewin said she was “filled with joy” that the snake had been found, although it would take her some time to move past knowing it had been in her bedroom.
“I’m still nervous, I’m still scared, but I’ll get over it,” she said.
People in the apartment building believe the snake belonged to a former tenant who owned dozens of snakes and recently left the building.
If the snake did belong to that former tenant, it would have had to slither its way up to reach Kerr’s fifth-floor apartment. That thought concerned Sherine Lall, who lives on the seventh floor.
“It’s ridiculous and it’s terrifying,” Lall said. “It’s crazy that this is what we have to be dealing with.”
Toronto’s bylaws prohibit people from owning venomous animals and any snakes which grow to three metres or longer. Kerr estimated the size of the snake in his apartment at about 1.5 metres