DETROIT — If recent news reports are any indication, roofers apparently need to increasingly be aware of large python snakes when working.
First there was the python that captured a big bird atop a rooftop TV antenna in Australia.
Then, on Thursday, an 18-foot python was discovered atop a garage roof in Detroit.
Fox News reports that the 8-year-old reticulated python named Juliet made its way onto the roof of a garage in Detroit Thursday, prompting a crowd to gather around the building and police to arrive at the scene.
"Everyone kept coming here, driving by, taking pictures, getting out of their cars and video recording," Kashires McReynolds, a neighbor, told Fox 2 News.
The python’s owner had been at work but eventually arrived to climb onto the roof and retrieve his pet. He told WXYZ that he feared for Juliet’s safety after spotting rocks on the roof that he suspects were thrown at his snake by the crowd.
The owner admitted he must not have locked Juliet’s cage properly. He stressed the snake “would never intentionally hurt anyone.” He also noted that the python was born and raised in captivity and is not venomous.
Reticulated pythons are native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, not venomous and not usually a threat to humans, according to ReptileKnowledge, an online forum on reptile care. That being said, pythons do occasionally prey on humans, constricting and killing their owners in captivity.
Also of note, Michigan does not require pet owners to obtain a license or permit to possess a python within the state. An exotic animal, which is any animal not domestic to North America, must have an official interstate certificate of veterinary inspection filled out by a U.S. Department of Agriculture accredited veterinarian in the animal’s state of origin, according to the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture & Rural Development website.