Tags: wessie | maine | snake | skin

'Wessie' the Maine Snake Is Real, but Did It Shed Skin at River?

Image: 'Wessie' the Maine Snake Is Real, but Did It Shed Skin at River?

Police photo of shedded snakeskin. (Screengrab of WMTW video)

By    |   Monday, 22 Aug 2016 10:18 AM

"Wessie," a 10-foot snake spotted earlier this summer in Maine, appeared to confirm its existence by leaving its skin near Presumpscot River, but some question whether the snakeskin was real or placed there as a hoax.

A resident of Westbrook reported the large snake skin on Saturday, and officials photographed, tagged and collected the skin to determine what type of snake shed the skin and whether it poses a danger, the Portland Press Herald reported.

"Until the type of snake is determined and we can assess the safety risk, we caution people who recreate along the Presumpscot River to remain alert, maintain a safe distance from any wildlife, and report any sightings of the snake to the Westbrook Police Department," Westbrook Police Chief Janine Roberts said, according to WMTW-TV.

Saturday's find is the latest in an ongoing frenzy over the snake.

The snake was first spotted in June. Westbrook Police Department posted about it on Facebook on June 29, saying the snake was seen eating a large mammal, possibly a beaver. The post has been shared more than 2,700.

Since then, the snake has been the subject of attention ranging from searches and sighting to a Twitter feed for Wessie P. Thon.

Mast Landing Brewing Company in Westbrook named a beer Wessie IPA after the snake, WCSH-TV reported in July.

Derek Yorks, a wildlife biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, told the Portland Press Herald that the snake is probably a Burmese python, which is native to Asia and unlikely to survive the Maine winter.

Some were skeptical of Saturday's snake skin find.

“It's very suspicious to find a shed that's laid out like this that wasn't laid out by someone,” Rob Christian, the President of the Maine Herpetological Society, told WCSH-TV.

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"Wessie," a 10-foot snake spotted earlier this summer in Maine, appeared to confirm its existence by leaving its skin near Presumpscot River, but some question whether the snakeskin was real or placed there as a hoax.
wessie, maine, snake, skin
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2016-18-22
Monday, 22 Aug 2016 10:18 AM
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