VEAZIE, Maine — A Veazie couple woke up Wednesday morning to a shocking surprise slithering around in their shower.
The unwelcome sight was a 3-foot-long ball python.
Ashley Harnden said Wednesday evening that her boyfriend, Dana Kenney, found the snake as he was getting ready for work around 4 a.m.
“He came out of the bathroom and said, ‘Stay on the bed — don’t move’ and he searched around trying to find something. He didn’t want to tell me what it was because he knew I’d freak out,” Harnden said. Kenney later told her there was a large snake in the bathroom and that he wasn’t sure what to do.
“So he got a bat and another stick and held it down and he grabbed it,” she said. The snake then was put into a mesh laundry basket for the time being.
Meanwhile, Harnden recalled that a neighbor might have a snake and called her at work.
The snake’s owner, Lorelei Coburn, answered and confirmed that her snake, named Elsa, had escaped its tank a month earlier.
Coburn said that she tore her apartment apart looking for the snake, which had escaped once before but was found shortly afterward. Despite her efforts to locate Elsa, the snake could not be found anywhere.
“I thought she was dead,” Coburn said. She said that she inherited the roughly year-and-a-half-old snake after the roommate who originally owned Elsa moved away and was not able to bring it with her.
Harnden admits that she is no fan of snakes, especially large ones like pythons.
“Those get huge. They can eat your cats,” she said.
“We have two cats and I don’t know how they didn’t see it,” she said. “They both sleep with us, so they get up with us in the morning. We have a cabinet under the sink in our bathroom and the only thing I can think of is that there’s a small square around where the pipes go down and she must have crawled up through. It was crazy. Who does this happen to?”
Harnden and Coburn met later in the morning so Coburn could bring Elsa back home.
Coburn said that Elsa was in good shape and appeared to have eaten during her month on the lam.
“I’ve very glad she’s home. She seems fine. She wrapped herself around my arm like she usually does,“ she said.
The snake, however, was thirsty and drank a good amount of water once it was home, she said.
Coburn said Wednesday evening that Elsa usually stays in a 100-gallon glass tank with a cover on it. She said she had put a heavy book on the cover but that the snake apparently was strong enough to wriggle out anyway.
“Apparently I need a cinder block to keep her in,” she said.
Coburn said Elsa temporarily is being kept in a smaller, more secure cage until she she can come up with a way to keep the snake in her regular tank.
CBS 13 contributed to this report.