An end of the school year picnic was cancelled, and residents were on the lookout for a missing seven-foot python in the town of Wilton, Iowa, but in the end, there was no place like home.
The albino Burmese was reported missing by its owner Tuesday, and had been "gone" since Monday.
"The 'suspect' is a seven-foot yellow and tan python. It is tame. It feeds on rats. We did alert all the neighbors that there is a python loose. We alerted the schools and daycares," said Police Chief Tim Leathers. "It's a small town. The news gets around pretty quick that there's a snake at large."
A picnic at a nearby school was called off. Kids were wide-eyed and eager to talk.
"They can squeeze and crush all your bones," said one child on the playground in Wilton.
"It strangles you, then bites you," said another.
The Chief and another officer searched a nearby bean field Tuesday and Wednesday, with no luck.
But Wednesday afternoon, the missing seven-footer named Raistlyn was discovered safe and sound, and not on the loose at all, but curled up on a shelf in a bedroom inside the house.
Not so fast.
The Chief says it is actually against city ordinance to own an exotic animal. The owner will be ticketed, and will have to get rid of her pet. She said the snake has been a part of the family for several years, and has never hurt anyone.