Escaped snakes startle homeowners

You could call it the return of the prodigal snakes. Two ball pythons that escaped from a tank in their East York home and sought refuge in the house next door were reunited with their owner on Nov. 8.

Janet Wilkinson and her husband Chris Forde discovered the fugitive snakes in their house near Coxwell and Danforth Avenues; one in the basement, the other having just gone through the spin cycle in their washing machine.

Upon the snakes’ capture, they were delivered to the pet store, Tails Inc., in the Beaches neighbourhood.

The pythons’ owner, 18-year-old Jacob Lance, had since moved. He recognized his pet, Steve French, when he saw a report on television.

“I was so happy, I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I ran straight from Coxwell and Queen all the way to that pet store.”

Forde and Wilkinson shared Lance’s relief. They initially worried that they had a litter of snakes living in their home.

“You wouldn’t know how good it feels, especially when we were thinking about selling our house,” Forde said.

The snakes had been missing since early July when an improperly placed tank lid allowed Steve French to escape. Two weeks later, Veyera, the other python, also made her getaway.

“I missed them,” Lance said. “I thought I was never going to get those snakes back.”

To prevent another ophidian extrication, Wilkinson and Forde bought Lance a new terrarium, and Tails Inc. threw in a new lock.