MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It’s been a full month since Morgantown resident Shane Stevens claimed to lose a 15–foot–long python along the side of the road in Sabraton. New interviews with people directly involved in the search suggest that the snake may have attacked Mr. Stevens in his vehicle, causing him to pull over and call 911 as the snake slithered away.
On June 27, Mr. Stevens was arrested and charged by the Morgantown Police Department with “allowing an animal to run at large” and released on $100 bond. Conviction in a court of law carries a $500 penalty. The arrest was the first public identification of the snake’s owner.
Facebook posts by Mr. Stevens in 2014 show two photographs of a large python, one of which is titled, “My snake.” It is unclear whether the photos depict the same python that was lost in Sabraton, or how much the snake may have grown in the five years since the photos were taken.
New interviews also reveal that the snake may be larger than originally thought. The owner of Exotic Jungle Pet Superstore, Emily Sanders, helped search for the snake. She says that police informed her that the owner had been feeding it entire chickens.
“If it was that big, and was eating live, full chickens, that thing is really big around and can easily take down and eat a dog, no problem,” Sanders said. “So of course a cat, a groundhog, anything like that is a popsicle to him.”
The new information was revealed in a 25-minute audio feature about the snake, which has become a local legend since its disappearance. The documentary can be found above.
Mr. Stevens did not respond to an interview request for this story.