MONTREAL -- A python just under a metre in length has been free for several days in Gatineau.

Gatineau’s police service wants to reassure the population that the reptile isn’t a threat, however. According to the local SPCA, this type of reptile isn’t dangerous because it doesn’t attack; when it feels threatened or afraid, it rolls up into a ball.

The snake’s owner contacted animal control on Friday to report the disappearance, which occurred several days earlier.

On Monday, the Gatineau police service was informed the python’s owner put up several posters offering a reward to the person who found the reptile, which caused concern among people who live in the area.

The reptile seems to move at night and appreciates the heat as much as it does cool and humid places. 

Police are asking anyone who believes they’ve seen the python to call 819-246-0222. Since this species doesn’t like being touched, people are recommended not to try to grab it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2020.