Animals

Second Snake Seized from Pedicab Driver

County Animal Services seized a second snake from the pedicab driver who was found with one around his neck Sept. 16.

When Animal Services learned the driver possibly owned more snakes, animal control officers and San Diego police went to the driver’s downtown hotel room three days later and seized the second one, a large red-tailed boa constrictor.

“Like the first snake, the boa was in very poor condition,” said Animal Services Deputy Director Dan DeSousa. “Both are now under the care of a veterinarian that treats exotic animals.”

DeSousa says the boa was living in a tank without heat but says the snake is improving now that it has heat and has been hydrated. 

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The case began with police responding to reports of a very intoxicated pedicab driver lying on the ground in downtown San Diego with a live snake around his neck. The driver attempted to cycle away and was arrested for riding a bicycle under the influence. The ball python morph snake found around his neck was turned over to Animal Services.

It measured 18 inches and was found suffering from starvation, dehydration and anemia. The driver has since relinquished that snake.

Since two snakes were seized and found in very poor condition, Animal Services has opened a criminal investigation for animal abuse and depending what is found the case could be turned over to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution.

Both types of snakes can commonly be found at pet stores and aren’t poisonous.

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact