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PennDOT workers in York County find 9-ft-long serpentine surprise

Updated: Tuesday, September 17 2013, 10:38 PM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

YORK -- Some PennDOT workers in were caught by surprise after stumbling upon a 9-foot-long python in a dead tree in York County.

On Tuesday morning, Southwestern Regional Police in York County say a couple of workers discovered the non-native snake inside the tree around 11 a.m. along West College Avenue, near Smith Hill Road in North Codorus Township.

Soon after, those crews called police, and together they captured the large snake in a trash can and transported it to the police station’s headquarters. 

The discovery of the python, belonging to a species native only to Asia, is likely a result of an owner releasing it into the wild, according to Jesse Rothacker. 

Rothacker, director of Forgotten Friends Sanctuary in Lancaster County, said the python is a pet trade in this area for experienced pet keepers. However, he doesn’t recommend the pet for most people. 

Police said they’ve received calls from serpent-spotters in the last couple of weeks. One caller said she came across a large snake on the roadway, but when police arrived, the reported snake was no where to be found. 

“Today when we arrived and seen this snake that was the girth of my forearm,” said Officer Dennis Brillhart. “Then we realized it was a real python.” 

While officials suspect somebody dropped off the snake and let it loose, Rothacker reminds others that doing so is illegal. He hopes to find the legal owner to return the female python. If he does not, it could soon be put up for adoption at his sanctuary. 

Anybody with information is asked to e-mail Forgotten Friends Sanctuary at or call Officer Brillhart at 717-225-1333 ext. 108.
PennDOT workers in York County find 9-ft-long serpentine surprise

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