File photo! We didn´t go near it either!

Popular with fishermen and swimmers, visitors to the El Vicario reservoir in Ciudad Real are being warned of the presence of a creature that they may not wish to stumble across, as the environmental group of the Guardia Civil, SEPRONA, along with colleagues from the National Police, are searching for an escaped boa constrictor in the area.

The snake, which is said to be about 2 metres long, escaped from its owner´s terrarium, and hasn´t been seen since, the owner deciding to leave the reptile to live its own life and enjoy its new found freedom. Passersby did find a discarded skin, which prompted the alert and shows that the snake is likely to be alive and still growing.

Native to Latin America, the Boa Constrictor is capable of surviving around the reservoir, which is rich in all the food and water it would need, such as mice and small mammals, at least until the winter sets in.

However, experts say that the problem is when the smaller food runs out, as then the boa would start to seek larger animals, strangling to death, before feasting on what´s left.

Officers have performed numerous searches of the area, but have yet to find a trail. Fishermen in the area are becoming nervous, some avoiding the site, others saying they would “run like Usain Bolt” if they saw it, whereas the more masculine members are choosing to carry weapons, should they have an unwelcome encounter. However, there are also a fair share of visitors who have simply accepted that the snake will now form another element of the flora and fauna that make up the area, with risks no more extreme than other animals that they so far share this land.

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