Residents of a Scarborough apartment complex can rest easier tonight after a large snake found slithering around the building was captured on Wednesday morning.
Roger Kerr and his wife Beverly Lewin, who live in a building near Eglinton Avenue East and Kingston Road, said they were sleeping in their bedroom at around 4 a.m. Tuesday when they heard a noise in their apartment.
“(I) thought maybe one of the phones fell off our dresser. When I got up to investigate I found that it was a snake wrapped around… the charging cord for the phone. It was very scary,” Kerr said.
He said he wasn’t able to identify what type of snake it was but estimated that is was about five feet in length.
“I don’t know whether or not the snake was poisonous or if it was just like a regular garter snake. Based on the size of the snake I was told it could be a boa constrictor,” he added.
The couple said they notified the property manager immediately.
“My head is hurting. I’m having chest pains right now and I’m very scared. I’m so nervous,” Lewin said.
A plumber, wildlife experts, and a self-proclaimed “snake man” arrived at the building on Wednesday to try to track down the serpent.
Eventually, the creature was found behind the wall of a vacant unit in the building. A section of the wall was removed to get access to the snake and the “snake man” George Warner then pulled the animal out of the wall.
“I know snakes inside and out. This is a pet. This was a pet and it will be a pet,” Warner told reporters with the snake draped around his neck. “It’s probably very hungry.”
He added that he intended to take the snake, which he named Leo, home to feed it.
Martina Ricci, a zookeeper with Reptilia, said ball pythons are docile, non-venomous snakes that are popular pets and legal in the city of Toronto.
An officer with Toronto Animal Services was at the apartment building on Wednesday to investigate the incident.
Lewin said she is relieved the snake has now been captured.
“I’m filled with joy. I’m very happy. I’m still nervous, I’m still scared but I’ll get over it,” she told reporters.
Lewin speculated that the snake was likely owned by a previous tenant who kept dozens of snakes as pets.
She said she is still concerned more snakes could be hiding in the building.
“(A) snake is not something that should be in somebody’s apartment.”