Pennsylvania Snake Owner Offers Reward for Lost Boa Constrictor Named Steve Irwin

by Craig Garrett

Residents of Mercer, Pennsylvania are being asked to keep an eye out for a 6-foot-long boa constrictor that escaped from its owner’s home. The snake, named after Australian conservationist and TV personality Steve Irwin, reportedly slithered away from the front door of a home in Mercer county. The spokesperson for the Mercer County Humane Society says that it is likely the snake is now loose on the streets.

Paul Tobin, of the Mercer County Humane Society, stressed the seriousness of the matter. “It’s kind of a serious thing,” Tobin told The Herald. “So we just wanted to let everyone know this thing is out there, and if you see it, you probably shouldn’t play with it.”

The owner of the snake claims it is neither poisonous nor searching for food. Steve has also recently been fed. However, that doesn’t mean he would turn down an easy meal. “But these snakes are opportunists. So if the opportunity arose, it would probably eat,” Topin explained. A boa constrictor is a snake that infamously wraps itself around its prey and squeezes it to death. A boa constrictor may nevertheless restrict a human, but it seldom hunts anything as large. However, the animal sanctuary has effectively ruled out the possibility that the snake is in transit.

Experts believe the snake is still in the area

According to Tobin, even tiny children are probably safe. However, people may want to keep an eye out for small animals like kittens, rats, or squirrels. Tobin estimates the snake “could be anywhere within a 75-mile radius.”

“He probably looked for a place to curl up and stay warm,” Tobin explained. Residents should be on the lookout for vehicle hoods, sheds, woodpiles, and other holes in their homes that the snake may crawl through. “Under car hoods is a definite possibility,” Tobin said. “If it can get in there, it could potentially get into the car, so people should just pay attention to what they’re doing.”

Meanwhile, the owner of the 6-foot reptile has offered a $200 reward for anyone who can safely return Steve. This has led some locals to point out that capturing the serpent should fetch a bigger reward. However, Tobin insists that no one should touch Steve. “Nobody was ever told to catch it,” Tobin said. “They were told if they saw it, to call.”

Anyone with information about the snake should contact their local police or the Mercer County Humane Society, according to Tobin. However, Paul Tobin begs locals to contact them right away. “If you can call when you’re right there looking at it vs. saying you saw it on your way to work three hours ago, that would be best,” Tobin quipped.