AN agent of the Environmental Unit (UMA) in Madrid has caught a large boa constrictor that escaped from a house in the district of Tetuan.
The 1.45 metre long snake escaped into the street through the window of a house.
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The incident occurred in Calle Jose Calvo, located in the Estrecho district, where alarmed neighbours alerted police agents.
The reptile was successfully captured and taken by the UMA to the Wild Animal Recovery Centre (CRAS).
The origin of the animal is being investigated as exotic animals, such as the captured boa constrictor, require administrative permits authorised through a licensing system via CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
The City Council warned that such animals are species that need special environmental conditions and facilities.
The boa constrictor, typically found in tropical Central and South America, is a tree species, so its habitat must be of considerable height.
Boas can grow to be over four metres in length, with three metres or above considered ‘large.’
The world record, set in South America, is 4.27 metres.
The species does well in captivity, usually becoming quite tame. Captive life span is on average around 20 to 30 years, with rare accounts of over 40 years, making them a long-term commitment as a pet.
Most boa constrictors available in the pet trade are captive-bred animals, which generally have more docile temperaments than wild-caught snakes.