Tuesday, 29 July 2014

New Jersey snake hunt ends after officials find no evidence

Unconfirmed sightings this month of a snake, perhaps an anaconda as long as 16ft, raised concerns among visitors and swimmers

Associated Press in Jefferson, New Jersey

theguardian.com, Thursday 24 July 2014 19.08 BST

A 16ft exotic snake reportedly slithering around New Jersey's largest lake is apparently a suburban legend. Or the snake just isn't hungry.

The state has stopped looking for the reptile after scientists failed to find any evidence of it in Lake Hopatcong and traps baited with chicken were left untouched.

Three unconfirmed sightings this month of a snake, perhaps an anaconda as long as 16 feet, raised concerns among visitors and swimmers. The state investigated, erring on the side of public safety.

State wildlife experts found no scientific or biological evidence that an exotic snake is in the area, state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese said. "There were no signs of droppings or skin," he said.

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