Nick Shreffler picks up one of his Iranian Jaya Pythons in his newly-built shed to show how calm this type of snake can be. "As you can see it's not a little baby. They still get hand-tamed," Shreffler said Tuesday night.
Shreffler is a snake collector of sorts, having about 24 different pythons of various ages. "It's just something different," Shreffler said. "Most people like cats and dogs. I also have iguanas and lizards. This is just something different: reptiles."
With each one meaning so much to him, he is desperately trying to find one of his snakes that escaped 4 days ago. "I went to bed about 2 o'clock in the morning. Stayed up late that night to make sure everything was clean and maintained. At 7 o'clock that morning, I came out and the lid was pushed off. We had weights on top of it at the time. She managed to push the lid off the tank and squeeze through a two-and-a-half-inch gap that was in the floor brace between the wall," Shreffler said.
He has since sealed up that hole and says he notified Animal Control about the missing python.
He has hope the snake did not stray too far from his Hearthstone Road home in Northwest Roanoke, and says she may be pregnant, but he believes the snake is not a danger to anyone. "Once they are hand-tamed, I have never had one go wild or mean on me. Usually you get them out of the egg nice. Sometimes you don't. I work with my snakes every single day. All of them get attention," he said.
Shreffler says while he appreciates everything about these snakes, he knows others may be concerned. That's why he is working hard to bring her back and reunite her with his other beloved snakes.
A spokesperson with Roanoke City Police has confirmed that a python was recently reported missing to Animal Control from that area.