Pythons in Louisiana? Large Snake Spotted at Local Ball Park
A large python was spotted at the Val Reiss Baseball Complex, an area frequented by families and children in Chalmette, Louisiana. The sighting, captured in a video by local Justin Tortorich, shows the sizable snake meandering behind a chain-link fence, raising concerns and curiosity among the community.
Louisiana is no stranger to the occasional python tale. Notably in 2019, two large pythons were found between Manchac and Laplace, sparking speculation about their origins. It's widely believed these snakes were pets released into the wild. Similarly, in a bizarre 2021 incident, a 12-foot python named Cara escaped her enclosure in Louisiana's largest shopping mall in Baton Rouge, eluding capture overnight and causing the temporary closure of the Blue Zoo aquarium.
The recent Chalmette sighting has reignited discussions about the presence of these exotic reptiles in the state. Pythons are not indigenous to Louisiana. In places like Florida, these snakes have been found as far north as Lake Okeechobee. The northernmost removal of a python in Florida occurred in 2012. This rarity suggests that any python sightings in Louisiana (and many in Florida) are likely due to escaped or released pets, a problematic trend with potentially dangerous consequences for local ecosystems and public safety.
Social media reactions to the Chalmette python range from awe to concern. While some admire the snake's beauty, others express worry, especially considering the proximity to a children's baseball complex. Comments like, “y’all better start checking your yard before letting the baby out!” underscore the community's anxiety. There are also concerns for the python's wellbeing, with one comment noting, "It's a ball python and is definitely going to die as it gets cold. It doesn't look in good shape now."
It seems like one commenter may have found the snake after posting a photo, although nothing has been confirmed.
The situation in Chalmette highlights the complex issues surrounding exotic pets in residential areas. While pythons like Cara in Baton Rouge may be described as "very sweet" by handlers, their presence in public spaces like shopping malls and baseball parks is unnerving for many.
We'll share any updates, but in the meantime, it's a reminder that we should be on the lookout for any wildlife at all times—especially here in Louisiana.
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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher