LONDON, Ont. - A metre and a half long snake, possibly a python, was on the loose in this southwest Ontario city Sunday after the reptile managed to slither away from police trying to catch it.

Officers responded to a call late Saturday night of a snake on the loose in a residential neighbourhood.

Officers arrived on the scene and saw the snake.

"We had an officer out there who is somewhat familiar with snakes, and he's the one that thinks it's a python, but that's totally unconfirmed," said Const. Jane Crosby.

Officers attempted to corner and catch the large snake, but it moved under the front steps of a vacant home.

Police and animal control were searching for the snake on Sunday morning, and canvassed the neighbourhood to see if anyone may have owned the reptile.

"According to animal control it could be anywhere," Crosby said on Sunday afternoon after attempts to find the animal failed.

Crosby said there have been no reports of a missing pet snake.

Lee Parker, a facility manger at Reptilia, a reptile zoo north of Toronto, said it's not uncommon for people to own a snake, such as a python, as a pet.

"People do keep them as pets, Burmese pythons are the most popular," said Parker, who added bylaws for owning a large snake differ in every city and town.

"These are the situations that we have when people own them as pets and why we tell people not to buy big snakes like that. They get out of their cage," said Parker.

Many times he has been called in to remove a snake on the loose from an urban or suburban area.

Parker said a python could also be dangerous.

"They have been known to kill small dogs, and cats," He said.

Parker said there is the chance that officer mistook the snake for a python, but he did add a snake that size is likely not indigenous to Canada.