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BC Press x2: Python slips into store

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Posted by: Herp_News at Wed Jan 15 18:14:04 2014  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Herp_News ]  

THE PROVINCE (Vancouver, British Columbia) 15 January 15 Why did it have to be snakes?: Three-foot python slithers into Richmond cellphone store (Stephanie Ip)
Why did it have to be snakes?: Three-foot python slithers into Richmond cellphone store
This three-foot-long ball python was found by store staff inside Wind Mobile at Richmond’s Lansdowne Mall on Monday.
A three-foot-long snake was found slithering through a cellphone store Monday evening in Richmond, leaving store staff surprised and slightly scared.
Employees at Lansdowne Mall’s Wind Mobile were preparing to close just before 6 p.m. Monday when a staff member walked into the store’s back room and spotted a snake near a microwave oven.
Val Lofvendahl of Richmond-based Reptile Rescue was called in to handle the situation.
“First thing we do is, because we don’t know what we’re dealing with, we grab a container and a pair of gloves and hope that it’s nothing — but prepare for possibly something aggressive,” she told the Province.
Lofvendahl and her daughter arrived shortly after being called and were escorted by security through the closed mall to Wind Mobile, where two frightened employees were waiting outside the store front.
Inside, Lofvendahl found the snake on top of a cardboard box.
Fortunately, the creature was a ball python, which Lofvendahl calls “one of the most docile, gentle snakes in the pet trade.”
The mother-daughter pair then captured the snake in a large plastic container, and staff were able to finish closing the store.
The snake, which has since been affectionately named Wind for the store where it was found, is currently undergoing a shed cycle, and is estimated to be around two years old.
“He’s really dull, his eyes are clouded and his sight is poor,” Lofvendahl explained, noting the python will likely finish shedding within the week. While the snake is not thin, it is a little dehydrated.
“He’s got scarring on his belly and at one point, he was not kept properly. He’s got a bit of scale rot ... but otherwise, seems to be OK.”
Both RCMP Cpl. Stephanie Ashton and Lofvendahl suspect someone abandoned the snake inside the mall, as opposed to outside, which Lofvendahl said is more common during the summer months.
Lofvendahl and her non-profit volunteer group now are caring for the abandoned python. Wind should be available for adoption in just over a month.
Anyone who is interested in adopting the python or other reptiles can find more information online at foot python startles employees Richmond cellphone/9387629/story.html

VANCOUVER SUN (British, Columbia) 14 January 14 Snakes alive! Python found in Richmond cellphone store (Philip Raphael, Richmond News)
Metro Vancouver: A cellphone store at Lansdowne Centre shut its doors a little early Monday evening as a local reptile rescue shelter member retrieved a snake from the premises.
According to Jason Roberts, the mall's general manager, the four-foot-long long, two-inch diameter critter — a young ball python — was located and safely tucked into a box then taken away to a local reptile shelter around closing time.
"It's really weird," Roberts said. "Nothing like this has ever happened in the mall before."
Mall staff were busy Tuesday morning trying to figure out if the snake somehow managed to make its way into the shopping centre by itself, was a pet of one of the adjacent store owners that escaped, or was dropped off at the Wind Mobile store as a practical joke.
When the News called the store, staff declined to comment on the matter.
There are no pet stores at the mall, leaving Roberts to believe the snake — which was docile enough to be retrieved by hand — may have been placed there.
"It's definitely not from around here," Roberts said.
Since the snake's discovery was close to closing time, the incident did not affect other businesses at the mall.
Val Lofvendahl, who has run the Richmond-based Reptile Rescue, Adoption & Education Society ( for the past 11 years and was the one who retrieved the snake, figures it was dropped off at the mall.
"I doubt he'd have been able to make it there by himself. The nearby residences are just too far away, and the weather is too cold. He would not have survived a long journey," she said.
When Lofvendahl arrived at the cellphone store, staff were anxiously waiting on a bench outside.
"They looked terrified," she said, adding she was told the python was in the back storage room.
"They said he was discovered wrapped around the microwave, probably seeking some warmth," Lofvendahl said. "When I got to him, he was sitting on top of a box."
The species can grow up to about five feet long and live up to 25 years. Judging by his size it's estimated the snake is about two years old.
"He looks pretty well fed, but a bit dehydrated. He has a bit of scale rot, which means he likely wasn't kept in an appropriate cage. But overall, he's in pretty good shape," she said.
Lofvendahl has since named the python Wind, after the store, and will keep him at the shelter for the next month or so to ensure he is eating well and is healthy enough to be put up for adoption.
"He is a really nice snake, very docile," said Lofvendahl, estimating she performs about half a dozen snake rescues a year locally, each adding to the 50 or so reptiles she has on hand at the shelter. alive Python found Richmond cellphone store/9387637/story.html


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