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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 07-17-2008, 05:47 PM   #1
Gorham, Maine Woman Finds Snake In Washing Machine

Gorham Woman Finds Snake In Washing Machine
Load Of Laundry Turns Into Much More

POSTED: 5:12 pm EDT July 16, 2008
UPDATED: 12:38 pm EDT July 17, 2008
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GORHAM, Maine -- A woman checking her laundry Wednesday afternoon found an 8-foot-long snake wrapped around the clothes inside the washing machine at her Gorham home.

News 8's Jim Keithley reported the snake somehow got into the water pipes of the 1800s-era farmhouse and slithered its way up to the second floor.

Mara Ranger told News 8 that when her load of laundry was done, she reached into the machine and felt something move.

"I take my jeans out and then I put my hand back in there to get more and something moved under my hand. I jumped back and, all of sudden, its head starts coming out of the washing machine and it looked huge," Ranger said.

Ranger said she closed the lid, but fought her fear and did not slam it to avoid hurting the snake. Then, she called the police, animal control and even emailed News 8.

Keithley reported that getting the twisted snake into a bag proved to be harder than expected as the snake made a mad dash toward the crowd. Ranger's mother -- called for moral support -- nearly collapsed.

Initially, authorities thought the snake was 4-foot boa constrictor, but turned out to be a reticulated python.

Richard Burton of Maine Animal Damage control arrived to save the day, but even he couldn't believe his eyes. He's been to a half-dozen snake recoveries this year alone.

"Last year in Lewiston, I took one out of a woman's shower; it came down her shower head," Burton said. "They get very dehydrated and they can sense a water source and they go to it, travel in pipes, suspended ceilings, in bathrooms, anything like that to get to a water source."

After a number of telephone calls, she learned that the local animal control officer could not help her and he referred her to an animal extractor. The person charges $75 a call.

Ranger said the snake used to be somebody's pet. They guessed that once it grew larger, the owners tossed it out in the wild.

"Now that it's gone, I'm going to be checking crevasses and corners," Ranger said. "I'm going to be looking in the tub first -- before and after, maybe even during the rinse cycle. I'm just a little paranoid right now."

** The advertisement for this on the tv was that an exotic dangerous snake was found and now a review is beginning about exotic reptile keeping. Totally blew it out of proportion!

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