Pets and Animals

Boa constrictor escapes cage in Virginia high school classroom

FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) - Snakes.

The scaly creatures are often the subject of nightmares. Objects of fear. Central to many mythologies and horror movies; “Snake Island,” “Snakes on a Plane,” “Snakes in a School.”

OK, “Snakes in a School” is not a real horror movie. Monday evening, the scenario unfolded in real life at Hayfield Secondary, an Alexandria high school.

“We sign off at 12:30 at night, but of course at 12:15, school security calls and says that there’s a snake setting off their motion detector.” said Animal Protection Police Officer, Siobhan Chase.

“I assumed at first that it was a rat snake or something got into the school…. but when I got there, there was a big Columbian red tail boa on the cabinet in there and I just picked him up.”

Something security was not eager to do.

“Nope!” Chase chuckled.

Jokes aside, Chase said “Buddy” the boa was good company.

“[Colombian red tailed boas are] very docile snakes, if they’re handled properly," he said. "And socialized properly and fed properly. This one was very friendly. It was happy to hang out with me until I put it back in it’s tank. I think it wasn’t happy about it’s loss of freedom. But he went back in and he was secured and he seems like he would be a great addition to the science lab.”

As for Buddy’s jailbreak?

“Typically, what you do with bigger snake is you put weights on their tank so they can’t lift the lid and get out. And I think the weights they had just weren’t heavy enough. He had just gotten too big,” Chase said.

Chase made sure to put some additional biology books on Buddy’s tank when she put him back inside his home.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokesperson John Torre said Buddy has lived in the biology classroom for years. The class has also been a long time home to other reptiles.


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