A 9-foot albino Burmese python has arrived at its new home after startling a United Parcel Service driver who found it curled up among packages in his truck last week.
The python was taken to the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center after Brian Adams encountered it while making deliveries in suburban St. Louis. News reports about the find caught the attention of David Ostermeyer, who hadn't received a python he ordered from a dealer in Pennsylvania.
Ostermeyer, 19, of suburban O'Fallon, told Theresa Williams, director of the division of humane services for St. Charles County, that he has a male albino python and ordered the female so he could breed them.
Ostermeyer told Williams he got the delivery last week but discvered the box was empty. He said he tried to flag down the driver and then put in a claim with UPS.
Adams, 41, remembers delivering an overnight-air box to Ostermeyer's address earlier on the morning that he found the python, but didn't notice anything unusual. Later, after stopping for another delivery, he saw what he first thought was a stuffed animal or rubber snake.
After he saw scales and realized it was alive, he called animal control. The 31-pound snake was prodded into a cloth mailbag and taken to the pet adoption center.
On Friday, Ostermeyer picked up the python after going to the shelter with proof of his ownership _ a receipt, the UPS tracking information and the empty box.
The python was shipped in a plastic container that was taped shut and placed inside the box. Williams said the tape was intact but the container cracked, and the cardboard box had a couple of tears in it.
UPS, meanwhile, is investigating. Although the company accepts some live animals for shipment, snakes aren't on its list.
What posesses people to ship these kind of creatures with UPS :a . It's not really a fun experience for the animal.