A giant snake in Maine left little doubt regarding its existence after a 10-foot snake skin was found by a resident near the boat launch area of the Riverbank Park. While there’s still some question as to just what type of snake may be slithering around in Westbrook, Maine, there’s no denying that whatever it is, it’s an absolute monster.
As if it was a crime scene of some sort, Westbrook police officers took photos of the snakeskin before collecting and tagging it in preparation for analysis to determine just what species of snake left such a large skin behind.
Reports of seeing a ginormous snake were first made back in June when residents spotted it eating what was believed to be a beaver on the banks of the Presumpscot River. One of the eyewitnesses to the first snake encounter described the creature as being as long as a truck, and as such the locals have given the reptile the name “Wessie.”
The moniker is an almost ideal hybrid of the infamous Loch Ness Monster believed to exist in Scotland and the town’s name, Westbrook, where this lengthy reptile is taking up residence.
Since the initial sighting, Wessie the giant snake has gained quite a following and even launched social media pages to keep residents advised of its thoughts. The Facebook page is a bit presumptuous and dubs the snake as Wessie the Presumpscot Python, but perhaps that’s what the skin analysis will ultimately determine after all. As for the Twitter version, Wessie is a bit cheeky within the 140-character limit.
No, it's that other ten foot snake. ???? https://t.co/r47UGbkTKi
— Wessie P. Thon (@WessieThon) August 22, 2016
There has even been a folk song written about this snake.
However, not all is fun and games when it comes to a 10-foot snake on the loose. Gauging the public safety risk of having such a critter lurking around the town obviously hinges on just what type of snake the skin is determined to belong to, but officials have asked people to be cautious and maintain a safe distance from any wildlife in the area.
“Until the type of snake is determined and we can assess the safety risk, we caution people who recreate along the Presumpscot River to remain alert, maintain a safe distance from any wildlife, and report any sightings of the snake to the Westbrook Police Department,” authorities said in a statement.
But after Wessie was sought following the initial sighting back in June, it’s hard to know when the slithery recluse will pop up again. Snakes tend to be inactive for long periods of time after eating large meals — such as the beaver Wessie reportedly consumed back in June. There’s no telling what the snake will be digesting this time around or how long it will again be off the grid, so any plans of catching it are likely going to be tabled yet again.
This giant snake is most widely assumed to be a pet that got loose or was released into the wild. Maine’s biggest native snakes include water snakes, which grow to about four feet, and the endangered black racer, which can grow up to five feet long. But even though it may not be native to the state of Maine, plans are being made to preserve the shed skin found this weekend for a museum.
What authorities are hoping is that the remainder of the warm weather can go along without incident, because snakes are notoriously active when it heats up. They are far less likely to be seen in the winter, as snakes stay warm in their dens and bed down with other fellow reptiles.
For a state like Maine, at least the idea that this snake tourist can’t handle the fierce local weather should be some type of comfort. Perhaps this shed skin is the last sighting of Wessie the snake until next year, but who knows how long the already giant reptile may be at that point.
[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]