A British man who spent a night drinking ended the evening by purchasing a 10-foot African rock python (Python s. sebae) which turned out to be part of a collection of snakes that were stolen in January. Dwayne Matthews, 29, apparently purchased the snake while drunk, with the intention of selling the snake later.
David Chance is reunited with his African rock python. Photo by Coventry Telegraph.
According to a report in Britain's Coventry Telegraph, Matthews brought the snake home, fell asleep and the next morning woke up to find the snake reared up with its jaws agape, apparently ready to attempt to make a meal of his friend who was sleeping on the couch. After subduing the python, Matthews apparently tried to sell the snake to a local reptile shop, KBN Reptiles in the city of Arcade, whose owner was aware of the theft of a reptile keeper's collection of snakes. The shop owner called the police who came and arrested Matthews. Matthews pled guilty to receiving stolen goods and was given an eight week suspended prison sentence, ordered to pay court costs and damages to the victim, David Chance, who was reunited with his python.
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African rock pythons grow to more than 10 feet in length with the average length being 14-16 feet. They are large snakes that can weigh up to 100 pounds. The snake's native range includes the African countries of Guinea and Senegal, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania. They are a restricted snake in the United States. The importation of this species into the United States and the transportation of existing snakes in the country is illegal.