14-foot python that slithered away amid Redding evacuation found safe

Ryan Allinger returns Eres to her home at Redding Reptiles after Eres’ unexpected venture through Redding.
Ryan Allinger returns Eres to her home at Redding Reptiles after Eres’ unexpected venture through Redding. Courtesy photo

The 14-foot albino python that was loose on the streets of Redding on Sunday has been found and returned to her pet shop, owner Sandra Dodge-Streich confirmed Monday.

Eres, a female python, slipped away after she and 200 other animals were evacuated from the Redding Reptiles store Thursday due to the deadly Carr Fire, which scorched the western part of the city that night. Dodge-Streich said she had to move to three different locations before settling at a fourth spot in eastern Redding on Saturday. The next day, she discovered Eres was missing.

“I think she was scared, she was stressed, she had moved four times,” Dodge-Streich said. “She was hot. ... She could probably sense the smoke. She did exactly what any animal would do. They would take cover.”

Eres was strong enough to lift the lid of the tub she was in, Dodge-Streich said, which had two other tubs with snakes in them on top.

Dodge-Streich had a hunch that her snake was hiding in the shady backyard of a house a block away from where she was staying, but said the homeowner refused to let her search it Sunday. The next morning, she got a phone call.

“His wife found the snake in their patio in a milk crate, of all things,” Dodge-Streich said.

The evacuation order for Dodge-Streich’s house and the pet shop was lifted Monday – both were undamaged – so Eres was able to return to her home. Dodge-Streich said the python was more than ready for her adventure to come to an end.

“She so willingly went right into (her home in the store),” she said.

Eres has a few scratches, most likely from climbing over or under fences, Dodge-Streich said, but is otherwise unharmed.

Dodge-Streich said the reaction from the community has been mostly positive; she was encouraged by how many people were going door-to-door spreading word of the snake escape.

”Today just turned out to be one good thing after another for us,” she said.

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