An 8-year-old, 18-foot reticulated python named Juliet slithered onto the roof of a garage in Detroit Thursday, prompting a crowd to gather around the building and police to arrive at the scene.
“Everyone kept coming here, driving by, taking pictures, getting out of their cars and video recording,” Kashires McReynolds, a neighbor, told Fox 2 News. McReynolds posted a video to Facebook showing the large reptile on the roof in a residential area.
The python’s owner was at work at the time but eventually arrived to climb onto the roof and retrieve his pet. He told WXYZ that he feared for Juliet’s safety after spotting rocks on the roof which he suspects were thrown at his snake by the crowd.
The owner admitted he must not have locked Juliet’s cage properly. The pet owner feeds the python a diet of thawed dead rabbits and said Juliet would never intentionally hurt anyone. Devin did admit to WXYZ that he was unsure if he’s legally allowed to own the snake but explained that the python was born and raised in captivity and is not venomous.
Reticulated pythons, which are found natively in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, are not venomous and not usually a threat to humans, according to ReptileKnowledge, an online forum on reptile care. Pythons do occasionally prey on humans, constricting and killing their owners in captivity.
Michigan does not require pet owners to obtain a license or permit to possess a python within the state but does regulate when exotic animals can be moved across state lines. An exotic animal, which is any animal not domestic to North America, must have an official interstate certificate of veterinary inspection filled out by a U.S. Department of Agriculture accredited veterinarian in the animal’s state of origin, according to the government agency website.