PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Officers removed some unwelcome guests from a park in Washington state on Thursday.
The Camas Police Department said eight python snakes ranging in size from 3 feet to over 6 feet in length were taken out of Lacamas Park. Police worked with animal control officials to safely capture and remove the creatures from near the parking area of Lacamas Park at Round Lake.
Authorities said cooler morning temperatures made it easier to find and catch the snakes since they were lethargic and slow-moving. No other snakes were found after a thorough search, police said.
Police said the pythons were taken to an animal shelter for health checks and “potential re-homing.” Authorities said the snakes — which are not native to the Pacific Northwest — were likely dumped in the park by their owner.
“Folks please do not release pets into the wild!” the City of Camas pleaded in a tweet.
In Florida, invasive pythons have decimated animal populations and threatened endangered species. Burmese pythons were kept as pets in South Florida in the late 1970s and were released into the wild, according to WFLA. The reptiles have nearly destroyed native animal populations such as bobcats, opossums, raccoons, foxes and cottontail rabbits in parts of the state.
The state now offers a bounty of $50 for pythons up to four feet in length, with an extra $25 for larger snakes.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly located the Lacamas Park in Oregon instead of Washington state.