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15-foot python named ‘Big Mama’ escapes in Chatsworth, leaving neighbors worried for safety

<i></i><br/>A 15-foot python named

A 15-foot python named "Big Mama" escaped from its cage in Chatsworth

By Sophie Flay

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    LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A 15-foot python named “Big Mama” escaped from its cage in Chatsworth, leaving residents fearful for the safety of themselves and their pets.

The reticulated python escaped from its cage earlier this month after it was accidentally left unlocked.

During the night, the black and yellow snake sleeps inside the garage, but during the day she hangs out in an outdoor sanctuary.

Every once and a while, Big Mama would spend the night in her sanctuary. And on July 3, Big Mama was left in the cage unlocked, and so she slithered out.

“We’re concerned. We’re pretty antsy. We’ve been looking day and night,” said Alex Villalta of Chatsworth.

The owner is scouring the neighborhood, posting more than 300 flyers. He says Big Mama shouldn’t be too hungry, and that she mainly eats rabbits. But small dogs and cats are on the list of animals she could go after.

“Reticulated pythons like that can eat almost anything they can catch, which is the part that makes people who are not snake people a little bit nervous. So they start off eating small things like mice and rats. Once they get really big, they can eat things like rabbits, like pigs, birds,” said Geoffrey Mantonya, the owner of The Painted Reptile.

But despite the threat Big Mama poses to some, Villalta said he is worried about the snake’s safety.

“We’re pretty anxious because some people are not very fond of reptiles, and we’re pretty scared that somebody might harm the snake,” he said.

Villalta wants people, if they see Big Mama, to call or text the number on his flyers or contact Animal Control.

But some neighbors, if they see the snake, might be calling 911.

“We’re just fearful for our lives actually, for the lives of our pets and our family that something might happen. And we’re wondering how this could’ve even happened in the first place,” said Benlide Liebman of Chatsworth.

The owners have also put out a $1,000 reward for Big Mama’s return.

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