So-called 'snake man' pulls python from wall of Scarborough apartment
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2018 11:17AM EDT Last Updated Thursday, August 16, 2018 7:01PM EDT
A Scarborough couple is looking forward to a good night’s sleep after they awoke to large python wrapped around a phone charger in their bedroom.
Roger Kerr and his wife Beverly Lewin were asleep in their Eglinton Avenue and Kingston Road apartment building at around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when a loud “thud” jolted Kerr awake.
Assuming his cellphone fell off the dresser, he got out of bed to investigate.
There in his bedroom, wrapped around a charging cable, Kerr discovered the coiled snake.
“It’s very scary,” Kerr told CTV News Toronto. “I didn’t know if the snake was poisonous… Based on the size of the snake I was told it could be a boa constrictor. At the same time, I wasn’t going to wait around to find out.”
Kerr woke up his wife and immediately called building management for help.
When he poked at the snake with a broom, Kerr said the “good sized” reptile got spooked, slithered away and crept into a hole in the wall.
He placed an object at the bottom of the doorway to block its entry to the rest of the apartment while they awaited the superintendent, but more than 24 hours passed before help arrived.
A plumber and wildlife expert showed up at their apartment shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday and opened up a portion of the wall in an effort to find it.
The commotion drew curious residents and snake enthusiasts to the unit, including George Warner, a self-proclaimed “snake man.”
About two hours later, plumbers located the unwanted guest in the wall of a vacant unit two floors below.
Warner stepped in, reached up into the hole in the wall and dragged the snake out.
He smiled as he held it outstretched by either end for the camera before wrapping it around his neck. The crowd of residents that had gathered in the doorway gasped and groaned at the sight.
Warner didn’t flinch.
“This was a pet. He’s not scary, you shouldn’t be scared of him, he won’t bother anybody,” Warner said. “He’s probably hungry. I want to take him home and feed him.”
Warner did exactly that.
After a few minutes showing the reptile off, the so-called “snake man” left the building with his new pet, which he’s named “Leo.” He told CP24 that he brought the snake home where he gave it some water and a bath.
“It was hand-raised. It’s a pet,” he said. “It knows people, it trusts people because people feed it and that’s it.”
The snake is a ball python, said zookeeper Martina Ricci, and is a “perfectly legal” household pe in Torontot.
Ricci said the snake is docile, non-venomous snake and can last as long as 16 months without food.
She said Warner’s desire to keep the snake isn’t surprising.
Meanwhile, Kerr and Lewin are just happy the slithering surprise is gone.
“It was unbelievable,” Lewin said of watching the snake get yanked from the wall. “I’m filled with joy, I’m very happy. I’m still nervous and scared but I’ll get over it.”
It’s not known how the snake got inside Kerr’s apartment, but residents at the building say they believe a previous building tenant, who recent moved out, may have owned dozens of snakes.
“I read it on Facebook from the superintendent and I’m thinking, ‘What the hell? How is this on Facebook?’ I’m home all day. Why haven’t I been presented with something that notifies me we have a snake,” Sherine Lall, who lives on the seventh floor, said.
“Then to find out this individual had 34 snakes in his apartment? I’ve been living here for so long and I didn’t even know about it.”
Lewin said she heard a similar story. She said she fears that the snake isn’t the only one that got loose.
“They said the person that lived here had 34 pet snakes living inside… They’re trying to tell us that there is no more snakes and I do not believe that,” she said.
“I’m going to keep my lights on.”