• Mass. officials search for fugitive snake

    Updated:

    KINGSTON, Mass. (AP) - The hunt is on for a slithering fugitive in Kingston.

    State wildlife officials say they are investigating several reports of a snake seen near the Independence Mall.

    Fisheries and Wildlife assistant director Tom French says based on descriptions, they're probably looking for a Burmese python, a legal species, or possibly a reticulated python, which is illegal in Massachusetts.

    If it's found and is a reticulated python, the incident will become a law enforcement investigation.

    French tells The Patriot Ledger it's possible the snake is as long as 16 feet. He said eyewitnesses reported seeing a snake extend across a narrow road behind the mall area, but didn't measure it.

    He said the python most likely escaped when the owner set its cage outside in the sun.

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