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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Hunt under way for escaped snake
Hogg Island Boa
A Hogg Island Boa went missing on Wednesday morning
People living in a County Tyrone town are being alerted to the fact that a snake is on the loose.

The Hogg Island Boa, which escaped from a house in the Dublin Road area of Omagh, is more than six-feet long and has the ability to change colour.

It is not poisonous, however, anyone who spots it is asked not to touch it but contact the police immediately.

Owner Gordon McFarland said he left the door of its enclosure slightly open and his snake, Cooper, got out.

"I carelessly left the vivarium door.. about an inch open," he said.

"A snake will find a route of escape. My son then left the door to the snake room open and there was a window open.

If it's outside it will be lying lethargic, very inert and even near hibernation,
Gordon McFarland

"I don't know whether he has gone into the rest of the house or whether he has gone out through the window."

He said Cooper would die unless it was located, but stressed that it posed no threat to the public.

"If it's outside it will be lying lethargic, very inert and even near hibernation," he said.

"I normally keep my snake room at around 22-23C, with warm spots of 30C.

"In a couple more days it will be dead. It won't last unless it gets to somewhere warm."

Along with his female partner, Alice, Cooper was named after the American rock star who regularly appeared on stage draped in constrictors.

Hogg Island Boas generally range in colour from cream to dark grey. They are darker during the day than at night.

Described as avid climbers, they are native to the Cayos Cachinos Islands of Santa Elena, Roatan, and Guanaja.

Hogg Island Boas are said to be very desirable pets because of their docile temperament.

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