Police warn public about 14-foot long python on the loose in Beech Grove

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BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Police are warning the public about a python on the loose in Beech Grove.

The snake is a Burmese Python named Vine, and it escaped its owner's residence. It's said to be 14-feet long.

Police say the snake may be in the area of 400 block of Byland Drive. She escaped five days ago and police say the owner, Benny Tarplee, delayed reporting it.

Tarplee said he's had the python since she was about a foot long. She's now eight years old. He believes Vine left because it was too hot in the house and someone left the door cage unlocked during cleaning day.

"She's a sweetheart, she's really a sweetheart, and she's the biggest baby on the face of the Earth," said Tarplee. "It's a snake, she's not the devil. She's not here to hurt you, as a matter of fact, as long as you leave her alone, she will leave you alone."

Tarplee says he's a state-licensed wildlife rehabber.

"Actually when our natives are injured they're picked up by DNR and dropped off here.

"My family is not a big fan of snakes. My job isn't exactly the most appealing to most people and I can't really call it a job. I guess I do it voluntarily, we all run off donations and a lot of the animals cost a lot to feed and keep up."

The owners of the Burmese python shared this photo of the missing snake with us.

He stressed that as long as you don't try to grab or touch Vine, she won't hurt you.

"A lot of the misconceptions about these animals is that they will wrap around your throat. They don't wrap around your throat as a matter of fact. The prey that they do eat they will wrap around the body of the animal and every time that it breathes out, it will constrict tighter, hence why it's called a constrictor. It's not venomous.

"She's not going to hurt you kids...she can't get past your shoulders, she's never going to attack something she can't eat."

He also asked people not to kill her. If she's threatened, that's when she may bite.

If you see the python, don’t try to capture it. Instead, contact Beech Grove police by calling 911.

The snake now even has its own parody Twitter account.

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