A 20-foot long Burmese python is on the loose somewhere in the Ozarks.
Ben Trexel is asking for people to be on the lookout for his pet, which he last saw Thursday at his home near Rogersville, Missouri.
“I don’t want him killed,” Trexel said. “But if someone feels threatened, I understand.”
The brown and tan python’s name is SS Wraps and is as thick as a football, Trexel said.
“SS” stands for Super Snake, Trexel said. It also refers to a double s-shaped design on the snake’s back. “Wraps” because the snake is very long.
SS Wraps was only six inches long when Trexel bought it from a pet store nearly nine years ago.
“I used to hand-feed him little baby pinkie mice,” Trexel said. “I’m pretty attached to him.”
Trexel said the python has since graduated to eating larger animals, such as rabbits and chickens.
Trexel said the last time he saw his snake was Thursday evening. It was curled up in a ball in the corner of its cage.
By the next day, the python was gone.
Sometime in the night or early morning, a tree branch had fallen through the roof of the porch, where Trexel keeps the cage, allowing for his python to escape.
Trexel said he has been searching for SS Wraps ever since. Trexel has notified all his neighbors and has a search party organized for Saturday.
“He means a lot to my family,” Trexel said. “I don’t want anybody harmed and I don’t want him harmed.”
Trexel said that recent rains have caused a nearby creek to swell. He’s concerned that the python might ride the creek to the Finley River and Ozark.
“If you see him, I will be there in a hurry, no matter what time it is,” Trexel said.
The python is usually relaxed and tame, Trexel said.
“I’ve never had him even try to bite me,” Trexel said. “He’s shown no signs of aggression in the nine years I’ve owned him.”
Don’t startle the python, Trexel cautioned.
“He is a reptile,” Trexel said. “Nobody knows what a reptile thinks.” (USA TODAY)