For about two years, a Florida family had been hearing noises in their attic. Since the sounds came and went, they didn't think to much about what could be up there.
It wasn't until Bob van der Herchen, the 75-year-old owner of the home, caught a glance of the unwanted house guest that he realized exactly what it was.
The Eaglewood resident says it's "anybody's guess" how long he and his wife had been sharing their home with a 6-foot boa constrictor, but odds are, it's much longer than any sane person would be comfortable with.
In an interview with ABC NEWS, van der Herchen says he thought that it was a much smaller reptile, a garden snake common to Florida.
"Well, we don't have to worry about any rats up there," he said he thought to himself.
But when he caught a glimpse of a 6-inch portion of the boa, he realized that they had a much bigger problem on their hands.
After several failed attempts, the homeowners called a pair of teenage 'snake wranglers.' Read what happens next - turn the page!
The concerned homeowner called the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Animal Services, but the officer was unable to locate the snake. Since it was against protocol to go looking for it, there wasn't much she could do.
Also, making matters worse, there was some concern that it might be a rattle snake. With few trappers willing to handle a rattler, they decided to call a local landscaper who moonlights as snake catcher.
Mark Lampart, 19, and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Kyleigh Wofford spent two and a half hours coaxing the snake out of the van der Herchen's home.
"S[he] did not want to come out," he said. "It was a happy snake up there," said Lampart. While it's certain the snake hasn't lived its whole life in the attic, Lampart guesses that it's been there for at least several weeks.
Posted by Bob van der Herchen on Sunday, July 23, 2017
The part-time snake catchers believe that the boa was once someone's pet that had escaped. The female boa, about 10 to 15 years old, had likely been feeding on rats in their attic.
Happily, Lampart confirms that he was able to find a "responsible reptile owner who would be able to take care of it for the rest of its life."
As for the van der Herchens, they're probably relieved to be rid of their mystery house guest.