A five-foot-long snake and northwestern Minnesota in April don't normally go together.
But police in Crookston are looking for one after a citizen reported spotting a reptile of that size on the city's north side, Valley News Live reports.
Initial reports that the snake might be a python were later discounted and police now say it is non-venomous nor is it a boa constrictor, the station says. It is thought to be a pet that escaped or was released.
But even the mention of a python had people taking notice Tuesday.
The Crookston Times says Police Chief Paul Biermaier also clarified that while the snake was seen on the 1600 block of Radisson Road last Wednesday, the witness did not report the sighting to police until two days later.
That means the snake may no longer be in that area. But on the other hand, the chilly temperatures also mean the cold-blooded reptile is probably not moving much – and could likely be picked up pretty easily by anyone who discovers it.
Biermaier also told the Times that based on an interview with the witness authorities now suspect they're looking for a hognose snake that's five to six feet long and is black or very dark brown.
While the eastern hognose snake is found in the wild in Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources says its range (right) does not normally extend up to Crookston.
A hognose mostly eats toads, frogs, and small mammals and makes a loud hissing noise, the DNR says.
It is known to be kept as a pet (the Long Island Herpetological Society has lots of advice on how to care for them).
Adam's Pest Control lists the eastern hognose as one of the snakes common to Minnesota but says they usually only grow a little over two feet, which would make the snake seen in Crookston a real outlier.
Anyone who sees the big snake is asked to call the Crookston Police Department at 218-281-3111.