Dead boa constrictor found in Ocean Park

Dead boa constrictor found in Ocean Park

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Red tailed boa constrictor found in Ocean Park on Labor Day. — Photo by Dustin Shaw

Oak Bluffs police responded to Ocean Park early on Labor Day to deal with a boa constrictor, more than six feet long, found near the gazebo. A man strolling with a young child encountered the snake, and called 9-1-1.

When police arrived, they determined the animal was dead, and was probably dead for some time.

“I thought it was a hoax or was going to possibly be a much smaller snake when the call first came in through the Communications Center,” Oak Bluffs police officer Dustin Shaw said. “As police officers we have to be ready to deal with a wide variety of incidents, but a boa constrictor is a first for me. They never went over that in the police academy.”

Noted wild animal expert Gus Ben David identified the snake as a red tailed boa constrictor, a species native to Central and South America.

“It’s a common animal in the pet trade,” Mr. Ben David said. “You’ve got a classic case of somebody had it, got tired of it, they found out it’s a lot of work. Most likely it’s a released animal. The other possibility is it escaped. I tend to think it was released. I haven’t had anybody call saying ‘I’m missing my pet boa.'”

Mr. Ben David said a boa constrictor of that size does not pose a significant threat to humans. Mr. Ben David said boa constrictors can deliver a nasty bite, though it is not venomous.

According to the Los Angeles Zoo website, the red tailed boa constrictor most often grows to between 4.5 and 8 feet in length, and weighs 40 to 50 pounds, but can grow as large as 13 feet in length. They feed on small mammals, like mice, rats, and similar sized animals. Boa constrictors kill their prey by grasping the animal with their long rows of small, sharp, teeth, then curl around it, squeezing until the prey suffocates.


  1. There once was a snake in the park,
    who must have left his home after dark.
    A woman and child almost found,
    what appeared to be left on the ground,
    would have had a bite much worse than its bark.

  2. This is very sad. I hope they somehow identify the person who either released or “lost” this snake, if only to make sure they aren’t keeping other exotic creatures.

  3. This snake most definitely was not alive in ocean park. I had a front row seat for the entire “show”. A young man in a black car arrived around 2am in ocean park with a trash bag, walked to gazebo tossed the snake up and left with trash bag. A group walking back from last call or something passed gazebo and two of the guys decided to jump onto the gazebo, they notice the snake just tossed up and decide to bring it down and chase the girls they are with. They have a laugh and drop it by the flower bed closest to the pines. The girls came back to take pics of it but apparenty didn’t report it. The kid that dropped the snake arrived back at ocean park at this time along with two other young men, presumably to observe the reactions.

      1. Actually we did speak to the authorities. My reason for posting was to reaffirm that the snake was indeed brought to the park already dead and that there isn’t some boa nest in ocean park. I didn’t realize I was going before a jury to be tried for posting added info on a story for those interested.

        1. I’m sorry. Your original post didn’t make that clear. It sounded like you were an observer who didn’t come forward until after the man and child discovered the carcass the following day.

  4. Oh, I’m being swallowed by a boa constrictor, a boa constrictor…oh, no, he’s up to my toe…oh, dread, he’s up to my head…oh, no, he’s…GULP