Police capture snake in NE ABQ home

Gopher snake
An Albuquerque couple found a gopher snake that had slithered its way inside their home.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- A woman in the heights called 911 because there was an intruder in her home. That’s not an uncommon story in Albuquerque. Yet, it wasn’t a burglar she was worried about, it was a big snake.

The woman and her husband live near Juan Tabo and Montgomery in Northeast Albuquerque in a court butted up against an arroyo.

They think it got in through an open door. Close to 8:00 p.m., an Albuquerque couple in a northeast neighborhood finished having tea at their dining room table. The woman went to close the blinds when she found a three to five foot snake coiled up at her feet.

She dashed to the phone and called 311 to get a hold of animal control. All the while, the reptile slithered back and forth across her living room, making its way to an end table and over a lamp cord.

Fifty minutes later, with no sign of animal control, the woman called 911. Three officers arrived and corralled the snake into a plastic bucket by the pair’s vacuum cleaner.

“My first reaction was to check my own yard,” says neighbor Allen Buice.

Buice found out about the snake Friday morning.

“It was alarming,” Buice says.

He lives just across the street from the home where the snake was found. While he’s not afraid of snakes, he certainly doesn’t want them in his home.

“I don’t know what the difference was between their house and mine but, I’m glad it was their house and not mine,” explains Buice.

So, what was this cold-blooded intruder?

“That’s a gopher snake. People also commonly call them bull snakes in this state,” says RD Wildlife Management Wildlife Consultant Justin Stevenson.

It’s one of the most common snakes in the state and, though they bear a resemblance to rattlesnakes, gopher snakes are non-venomous. Gopher snakes are constricting snakes so, they start small and can grow to be up to seven feet long.

Stevenson says they don’t often find their way inside but, it does happen.

“Snakes are very driven by the temperature and so, they’re going to move around back and forth throughout their life, not only finding food and water but finding that appropriate shelter that suits them,” explains Stevenson.

While you may think living away from open space would mean you’re in the clear, Stevenson says, you could come across one of these snakes anywhere. It’s why it’s important to know the difference between this snake and a rattlesnake and why you might want to keep an eye on who or what comes through your door.

Police took the snake to the open space area near Juan Tabo and Manitoba and let it go.

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