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Old 08-08-03, 08:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
Ed_r's Avatar
Join Date: Nov-2002
Location: Chicago
Age: 50
Posts: 366
More bad Press!!! In the Chicago area too, great timing.

Snake takes a joy ride in S. Elgin
By Tom O'Konowitz Daily Herald Staff Writer

A plumber by trade, Steve Beard of South Elgin knows how to put a snake to work.

This week, however, Beard was flushed with surprise when he found a 6-foot-long boa constrictor hiding under the hood of his work van.

Beard, owner of South Elgin's Freedom Plumbing and Heating, made the discovery Monday evening at his house on the village's west side. As he'd later learn, the boa had been hiding in his van since Saturday morning.

"It's alarming to see it at first, but it's amazing how it hung in there that long," Beard said. "And why would it hang in there for two days next to a radiator that's 200 degrees?"

Beard had been doing plumbing work Saturday morning at a Park Avenue house, on South Elgin's east side, when he heard a neighbor's snake had gotten loose. Not realizing the snake had slithered into his vehicle, Beard put a lot of miles on his van in the next few days with the discreet visitor on board.

Sunday morning, he drove to and from his grandmother's place in Poplar Grove, about 45 miles away, and Monday he went to a job in Maple Park, about 21 miles away.

When he finally returned home Monday night, he saw something hanging down underneath his van and quickly figured out he was staring at the snake that had gotten loose days earlier on the other side of town.

"I was surprised knowing all the places I had been that it was still there," Beard said.

South Elgin police went to Beard's house to help him get the snake out but found it wasn't that easy. The strong snake didn't seem to want to loosen its grip and leave the van, police said.

Ultimately, officers used pepper spray to daze the serpent and remove it. The snake survived the entire ordeal and was returned to its owner.

No tickets were issued to the owner for letting his snake get loose, and that prompted Beard to suggest the South Elgin village board consider enacting stricter laws to penalize pet owners who don't keep them restrained.

"You start thinking about all the safety issues," Beard said. "What if it got to someone's baby? Being a boa constrictor, it could crush someone."

The snake's owner could not be reached for comment.

Then we wonder where these reptile bans originate from?
Don't forget ReptileFest April 3rd-4th
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