4-foot-long boa constrictor forces bus evacuation in Philadelphia

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A SEPTA bus rider's plus one gave passengers a scare Sunday afternoon, forcing an emergency evacuation in West Philadelphia. (WPVI)

A snake gave passengers a scare Sunday afternoon, forcing an emergency evacuation in West Philadelphia.

The incident happened around 3 p.m. at 52nd Street and Westminster Avenue.

SEPTA officials said Koron Riley was somehow able to get his 4-foot-long boa constrictor aboard a Route 52 bus.

Riley told Action News Sunday night he and the 3-year-old snake, named Red, were on their way to Monster Pets on 57th Street.

Red, hidden in a jacket around his neck, got loose somehow and forced an evacuation of the bus, an official said.

"She had slithered out of my pocket on the way back and she got stuck in between the chairs," said Riley. "Some people started to freak out because it was a snake on the bus, and they started talking about snakes on the plane."

A SEPTA police officer safely removed the snake and gave her back to Riley. The remaining passengers boarded another bus.

Riley said Red, a Red Tail Boa mixed with a Brazilian Rainbow Boa, is not a danger to others.

"She always stays inside (my pocket), but today she wanted to wander around because she was hungry," said Riley.

And after an eventful day, Red finally got fed.

Her meal? A rat.

Riley said he's glad to have his baby back and he feels bad for giving passengers a scare.

"I apologized to everybody, I didn't mean for her to get out," said Riley. "Most people accepted my apology."

Officials said passengers are allowed to have small animals, in cages, on SEPTA buses, but rules don't specify if snakes are included.

Riley could face reckless endangerment and interfering with operation of mass transit if charged.

Related Topics:
philadelphia newsSEPTAevacuationWest Philadelphia
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