A man dressed in a blue overall walking along Caparo Road in Arima with a large living snake caused quite a commotion yesterday.
A series of videos began popping up on social media late Monday showing the man proudly displaying the eight-feet long, estimated 200- pound, Boa constrictor, commonly called a macajuel locally.
The man initially had the snake’s neck in a firm grip while he held the lower part of its body with his other hand. He even slung the snake across his shoulder. At one point, though, the snake was dropped on the ground and seemed barely alive.
A crowd gathered to see the snake, with some chancing a touch while others took videos and photos of it. But, no one showed any sympathy. It is not certain whether the snake survived the ordeal.
The man, however, may have gotten more attention than he bargained for as the Wildlife Section of the Forestry Division has launched an investigation based on the videos.
Macajuel snakes are protected in this country and hunting a protected animal carries a fine of $100,000. Senior Game Warden Steve Seepersad told Guardian Media he was disappointed that no one contacted the Wildlife Section or reported the incident to the police. He said the macajuel is a non-venomous snake and is harmless. However, he said if provoked it will defend itself.
With the rainy season in full swing, Seepersad said he is expecting more snake sightings across the country, particularly in flood-prone areas.
“People, in general, have a phobia about snakes. They think all snakes are dangerous. The fact that the rainy season is upon us will cause snakes to come out of hiding to look for higher ground, especially in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding,” Seepersad said.
He, however, believes the snake was killed. Urging people not to attempt to capture or harm the snakes, he advised them to call the Wildlife Division or contact the police, who would inform the relevant agencies.