CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A Clearwater man got a slithery surprise after finding a boa hiding in his couch, but how did a snake native to Central and South America find its way into a condo?

Clearwater police tweeted Saturday that a resident at Marilyn Pines called for help about a snake in his condo.

When officers got to the building, they carried the couch outside and found the 5-foot red tail boa deep hiding inside it.

Red-tailed boas are often kept as pets and can grow up to 13 feet long, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Usually, the snakes are active at night, and the FWC said they are able to climb “moderately well.”

The FWC said the snakes are brought to Florida from Central and South America as pets. The boas seen in the wild are the results of people illegally releasing them or escapes from reptile dealers, potentially affecting local animal populations if the population gets a foothold.

A single female can give birth to 15 to 40 live young at a time.

So far, these boas are only established in one county in south Florida, meaning that the boas are breeding and sulf-sustaining in the area. The FWC said the statewide trend is still unknown.


Correction: The boa was previously identified as a python according to police. However, pythons are a different genus of snake, so the correction has been made.