CLAREMORE, OKLA. - A couple in Claremore got an unwelcome surprise this week after finding an exotic snake in their garage.
Seeing wildlife has become just another part of life on the outskirts of Claremore where Jim Pilkington and his wife have lived for seven years.
"We're used to hearing coyotes, and we've got rabbits that live out in the yard and squirrels in the trees," Pilkington said.
It's normal for them to see a few snakes near their home, too.
"Just the normal wild snakes--black snakes and what-have-you," he said. "But this was an unusual find."
On Tuesday Pilkington said he went into his garage to grab some tools, and his grandson yelled after spotting a snake under the refrigerator.
"My wife ran away," he said, "and I started looking for a place to hide the great-grandbaby."
He said in the garage's dim lighting, he initially thought it was a diamondback rattlesnake. When he took a closer look, though, his previous experience with reptiles showed that it was no rattlesnake.
"I used to have an eight-foot boa constrictor and was around pythons," Pilkington said.
Instead of killing the snake, he and his wife gave the four-foot-long python a home, at least temporarily. He said the snake clearly had an owner at one time because of its docile nature.
"You can handle it without any fear," Pilkington said.
He also has a theory on how the snake ended up at their house. Over the years he said people have dumped lots of animals in the area. That's how they got their dog, Speedy, and apparently now this snake.
"With the snake, I'm sure that they saw the pasture across the street and thought that that would be a good place and just dumped it out," Pilkington said.
He and his wife are now looking for the snake's owner, but until he or she is found, they plan to keep the snake in a container poked full of air holes.
"We don't want it just roaming the house," he said. "We have a Yorkie that would make a good meal for it."
If anyone knows who owns the snake, call the Pilkingtons at 918-724-9804.
If no owner comes forward within the next few days, the couple plans to sell the snake to a pet store.
The officers at Claremore Animal Control said they have not gotten any other calls about people spotting exotic snakes around town.