Residents in one New Jersey community have been living in fear of a 15 or 16-foot boa constrictor snake that has been on the loose in Lake Hopatcong for several weeks. As it turns out, one reptile specialist says he was told to keep quiet about his knowledge of the serpent while he searched for it, reports the Daily Mail.
Gerald Andrejcak says he was “sworn to secrecy” by local authorities who wanted to make sure they didn’t panic residents. For weeks, people believed the snake was a boa constrictor. But Andrejcak says experts knew it was actually a green anaconda – which is one of the heaviest and longest snakes in the world.
“I’ve known its species (since last week), but I was sworn to keep my mouth shut by local officials to avoid causing a panic,” Andrejcak said. “Now that there’s a panic, I’m going on the record.”
The last time the reptile specialist spotted the anaconda was Thursday, he said, when he noticed it slip out of a boat house attached to a property and enter the freshwater lake.
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He was reportedly the first to alert animal control officer Dale Sloat that he believed it was actually a green anaconda, and not a boa. Although this species is not venomous, Andrejcak warns that it’s “one of the most aggressive snakes out there,” and that, unlike a python that only needs to eat once a month, the green anaconda is a “predator, hunting all day every day.”
But Sloat says he remains skeptical about Andrejcak’s findings.
“No officials have seen this snake, and you know how people exaggerate,” Sloat said.
Andrejcak says he is disappointed with how authorities are handling the situation and that he keeps getting blown off. He says he thinks the snake was somebody’s pet and that it was dumped in the lake when it became too large.
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Sources: Daily Mail
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