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August 21, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Cowen Park python isn’t exactly ‘Seattle’s Most Wanted’

He’s a killer, but authorities are no longer looking for him.

The 6- to 7- foot reticulated python that disappeared last week in Seattle’s Cowen Park is still on the loose, but neither Seattle Animal Control nor police are actively hunting the wayward reptile.

“We’ll go out if someone sees him, but we’re not actively searching,” Seattle police spokeswoman Renee Witt said today.

Don Jordan, director of Animal Control, said his employees have got other matters on their hands. “We’ve got dogs biting all over the city,” he said last week.

According to Seattle police, the snake was reported missing around 2 p.m. on Aug. 13 by its owner, a homeless man who residents of the neighborhood said was frequently seen in the area with the snake coiled around his neck.

He had reportedly left the snake on the ground to sun for a short time when the reptile took off, a friend of the snake’s owner said last week.

Reticulated pythons, which are native to Southeast Asia, are not venomous, but they are ambush predators who excel at hunting small mammals and birds, which they kill by grasping with their teeth, coiling their muscular bodies around the animal and squeezing until it suffocates.

Jennifer Pramuk, a herpetologist and the animal curator for Woodland Park Zoo, said the snake will likely die once temperatures reach below 50 degrees routinely.

Until that happens, anyone who sees the python is asked to call 206-386-7387 or 911.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: missing snake, Seattle

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