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Humane Society offers reward in snake abandonment

The Humane Society is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to a conviction in the case of the 3-foot boa constrictor abandoned last week in Mastic.

The reward is being offered "for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible" for abandoning the snake on Oct. 10, the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Friday in a news release.

"This is the latest in a string of cases involving the abandonment of dangerous snakes and other reptiles in New York," Brian Shapiro, New York state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement. "We hope this reward will encourage people to come forward with information about this terrible crime."

Chief Roy Gross of the SPCA said last week the boa was found by Suffolk County police after an officer responded to a 911 call. The snake apparently was left in a glass fish tank at the intersection of Mastic Road and Roberts Street, Gross said.

Gross said the snake was lethargic and had an infection near its tail. The snake, which cannot survive in cold weather, was brought to an undisclosed sanctuary, Gross said.

Gross also said he's concerned about the recent abandonment of reptiles, including five alligators on Long Island in a 10-day period, three of them in Suffolk.

The fifth gator was discovered Oct. 7, in a plastic container outside an Applebee's restaurant at Montauk Highway and William Floyd Parkway in Shirley.

Gross said the boa, which is nonvenomous, does bite and can constrict to kill prey.

"We just want parents and children to be aware," Gross said. "If people see something that looks like a reptile, call the authorities."

Anyone with information on the snake can call the SPCA at 631-382-7722. All calls will remain confidential.

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