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Boa constrictors
A boa constrictor sits in its cage during a press conference at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks announced a proposed ban on bringing Burmese pythons and eight other kinds of large snakes in the country, saying they threaten the environment. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A Florida family found a boa constrictor in their attic


A family in Englewood, Florida says they recently discovered a Colombian red tail boa constrictor had been living in their attic for years, according to WFLA.

“Over the last couple of years, my wife said she heard sounds in the attic,” Bob van der Herchen said Tuesday. “My son said he heard sounds in the attic.”

“I didn’t think much of it,” he added. “I thought maybe it was rats. It was actually bunking in the rafter space right above the Florida room chair where my wife sits. Only in Florida.”

Some Twitter users on Wednesday voiced shock at the van der Herchen family’s find, while others expressed amusement at the unexpected snake.

Van der Herchen said he believes the animal was once someone’s pet, and that it ultimately entered his residence via a tree branch that hung near it.

The Florida resident added that he hopes the surprising guest offers other homeowners a reminder to cut overgrown trees near their houses.

Linda van der Herchen, who is Bob van der Herchen’s wife, told WTSP that their son Adam first noticed the snake through a gap in their ceiling.

Animal Control initially identified the reptile as a diamond back rattlesnake, and its agents could not capture it after two visits to the van der Herchen’s home.

Linda van der Herchen was eventually referred to a snake trapper named Mark Lampert who caught it after two hours of hunting.

Lampert also correctly determined the boa’s species, adding that a large snake skin he found indicated it had probably resided there for several years.
The average snake reportedly sheds its skin about two to four times year, including the various types of boa constrictor.

Boa constrictors are one of the larger varieties of snakes, and they are known to kill their prey squeezing them with their coils until their victims suffocate.

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