Tessie, the 8-foot red-tailed Boa Constrictor on the loose in Connecticut


EAST HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH) – There is an eight-and-a-half-foot Boa Constrictor on the loose in Connecticut. The snake was first spotted Sunday night in East Haddam, slithering across Creek Row during a rainstorm.

In a video sent to NEWS10’s sister station in Connecticut, you can hear a surprised man talking as he films, causing a lot of interest and concern in East Haddam. “That’s the middle of the road and that’s him,” the man said as he panned across the snake. “He almost makes it all the way over.”

This is certainly a first for the town. “The first person who saw it said, ‘My god! This must be something out of Africa,’” explained First Selectman Rob Smith (D-East Haddam).

It is, in fact, a Columbian red-tailed boa. “I saw the picture and it was quite surprising,” said Dan Ballack, whose family owns Ballak’s Garden Center. His mom told him about the posting on social media, which Rob Peach also saw.

That’s how Peach realized his snake escaped from his house. He thought she was hiding in a wall. “She likes to climb and she sits in the sun with us,” said Peach as he looked through pictures of his snake on his phone. “She’s literally part of the family.”

He says the 30-pound boa is strong but gentle. “The snake’s name is Tessie. It’s short for Tesla,” said Peach, a former Tesla worker. He believes the snake may have gotten out through a window. “I’d just like to create some awareness that there is a big friendly snake out in the neighborhood and I don’t want anything bad to happen to her.”

He says if you spot the snake during the day, it may be sunning itself. It would be in a position with its head about a foot in the air and its mouth open. That may look menacing, but he says it’s just the snake trying to gasp for air. She doesn’t do too well in colder temperatures and may have a stuffy nose.

He says people shouldn’t be worried. The snake only eats once every couple of weeks, and it is well fed. “I’ve fallen asleep with her like literally around my neck and I’ve woke up,” said Peach. “She’s a good girl.”

Unlike a dog or cat, she won’t find her way home on her own, so locals are asked to call East Haddam Animal Control at (860) 873-5044 to pick her up.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download our news app

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Latest PODCAST episode

More PODCAST: On the Story with Trishna Begam

Latest COVID-19 News

More COVID-19