Python found near Burger King in New Jersey

August 27, 2013 8:00:28 PM PDT
A startling discovery was made outside of a fast food restaurant in New Jersey, and certainly enough to make the customers lose their appetites.

The python was found along the Passaic River just feet away from a Burger King drive-thru and its customers.

Paterson animal control managed to grab the python with some special tongs.

The 12-foot python was spotted just feet away from the busy Burger King on Route 20 in Paterson.

A construction crew fixing a sewer line saw it around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and called animal control for help.

"If you had a bad ticker and God forbid you come out with a cheeseburger in your hand it would have been all over," said John DeCando, Chief Animal Control Officer for Paterson.

Some say it's been slithering in the grass near the Passaic River for a couple of days.

"It has the potential of giving a good bite. Imagine if there was a youngster," said Gerald Zelenka, "In Touch with Nature" owner.

Jerry Zelenka would know.

He got bitten by the snake as he moved it to the "In Touch with Nature" facility, a Clifton company that offers live animal shows to schools, nursing homes, and charity groups.

He agrees with Paterson animal control officers, saying the snake is in good health and was probably dumped here by someone who didn't want to take care of the creature anymore.

"That's the problem, people have a pet and they don't want it and they don't realize that's the end of the snake," Zelenka said.

"It's a happy ending. Nobody got hurt," DeCando said.

In another month, the cold weather would have killed the creature.

It's not known who left the python there.

It's important to point out this is animal cruelty and carries a penalty of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.