Authorities in New York’s Long Island were stunned to find a massive 14-foot reticulated python lying on the side of the road.
Environmental conservation police officers got a call about the out-of-place reptile on February 14, according to a news release Wednesday from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. The python was lying on the side of the road in the town of Medford on Long Island.
When the officers got a closer look at the reptile, they realized it was dead. They removed its body from the road, according to the news release. The department did not specify a cause of death.
The discovery has triggered an investigation with authorities looking into the owner of the snake. Owning reticulated pythons is illegal in New York unless the owner holds a Dangerous Animal License, the release says
Reticulated pythons are native to southern and southeast Asia, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The species are considered an invasive species in Florida, where it’s believed the small wild population stems from escaped or released pets.
The pythons are one of the world’s longest snake species, sometimes exceeding 20 feet in length, the agency said.