The owner of a five-foot-long boa constrictor is asking people in Princeton, Minn. to be on the lookout for the snake after it went missing over the weekend.
The snake, named "Rocky," escaped its tank and made its way outside after the door of the owner's house was left open. Rocky was last seen Sept. 3 on the corner of 8th St. N. and 7th Av. N. in the town about one hour north of the Twin Cities.
"I've dedicated my life to animals and this is the worst thing that could happen," said the snake's owner, Ammy Sweeney. "He was depending on me and I feel horrible and embarrassed."
Sweeney said she has owned the snake with her mother for 12 years, but would not recommend that others keep snakes as pets.
"I know more about them now than I did back then," she said. "He belongs in a jungle somewhere."
Keeping a boa constrictor as a pet is against city ordinance, said Princeton police chief Todd Frederick.
"We are investigating the case, but I am not at liberty to discuss that right now," he said. "It's an unfortunate situation."
Mille Lacs County Animal Control posted a grim update about Rocky's disappearance on its Facebook page.
"Due to the cooler temps, he may not be doing well or could possibly be deceased," the post said. "If this is the case, his owner would still like closure."
Sweeney said she doesn't believe the snake poses a threat to anyone and is encouraging neighbors to look for him, especially in warm spaces.
"I'm praying to God he didn't climb into someone's vehicle," she said. "He could just climb up through the bottom."
If anyone sees the snake, they should call Mille Lacs County Animal Control at 320-492-5865 or Princeton Police at 763-389-4879.