MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia has its share of legendary creatures, the Mothman, the Flatwoods Monster, the Grafton Monster, even Bigfoot has reportedly been spotted roaming remote areas of the state.
Now, another creature’s legend is growing.
Over two weeks have passed since a python, reportedly over 15 feet long and four inches in diameter, escaped a vehicle in the area of Eljadid Street in Sabraton, but the behemoth reptile has not been seen since its now famous getaway.
The lack of sightings of such a large animal led some to question the authenticity of the story and rumors swirl about its size and species.
The Morgantown Police Department insists the story is true. The reptile’s owner told officers the snake escaped its enclosure inside his truck and when the snake got out, he bolted allowing the snake to make a smooth getaway. Police reportedly saw the snake for a moment during the initial search, but lost sight of it in the woods.
“I’ve had snakes loose in my house and buildings. I’ve had numerous calls about snakes in a house and you’d think you could find them very easily, but they’re hard to find. But a big python like that should be very easily seen,” longtime Division of Natural Resources biologist and snake expert Frank Jernejcic said on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town.”
Since that brief sighting by Morgantown Police, there’s been no sign of the python, while its legend has continued to grow.
Rumors around the snake, which has its own Twitter account with over 3,600 followers, range from the whole story being a hoax, to the reptile being a much larger species.
Warnings were issued to residents in the area where the snake reportedly escaped to be mindful of small pets and children outside.
Jernejcic insists the snake does not pose much of a threat.
“They don’t have to move around a lot. They don’t have to feed very often. They aren’t going to be out looking to attack anybody,” Jernejcic explained.
Jernejcic said a snake that large slithering through the woods in Sabraton, will probably be discovered by accident when it’s looking for food or warmth. Otherwise, Jernejcic speculated the snake has found a comfortable spot to stay warm and out of sight.
Without any new sightings or fresh information, organized searches for the python were halted. If anyone happens upon the celebrity serpent, they’re advised to call 911.
While its legend may grow on social media as more time passes without it being spotted, Jernejcic believes the West Virginia winter will prevent it from reaching the same status as the state’s other “mythical” creatures.
“When it gets to 40 degrees or lower, it will likely die.”
At least for the summer, you can add the Sabraton Snake to the list of creatures such as the Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster that some swear they have seen and others insist are nothing more than a figment of the imagination.