Somewhere in the idyllic New England wilds of Maine lurks a terrifying beast — a 10-foot-long snake is reportedly on the loose near the city of Westbrook, and its presence has stirred up both terror and fascination among locals.
The Boston Globe reports that the snake, now playfully named Wessie, was first spotted back in June by a woman who told police she saw the gigantic reptile near Riverbank Park, along the Presumpscot River. "She said it was as big as a truck," Westbrook Police Captain Sean Lally told the Globe. "And had a head the size of a basketball."
Since then, there have been several more Wessie sightings near the park. One police officer said he saw a snake, "possibly 10 feet long, feeding on a beaver in the Riverbank Park area around 3 a.m.," the Globe reported.
But the most terrifying Wessie development happened on Saturday, when a local man found a 12-foot snake skin alongside the river. Lally told the Globe that it's possible the skin is a prank — but it's also possible it's real (a sample of the skin has been sent to a lab for DNA testing).
Wildlife biologist Derek Yorks told the Bangor Daily News that he believes the snake may be a tropical python or constrictor that may have been kept as a pet and then turned loose when it got too big.
If Wessie is indeed a tropical snake, Yorks said, it won't survive the cold Maine winter — which will be truly tragic for the many Wessie fans that have rallied around the city's new unofficial mascot. The snake has already inspired a beer at a local brewery and has at least two separate Twitter accounts.
If you need us, we'll be indoors.