Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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Snake in the Castle -- updated

Laguna Castle -- as the Spanish-style apartment building is called -- overlooks Echo Park Lake. It has been empty of human residents for about two years, due to structural problems, which were being addressed by workers last week when the workers suddenly ran off the job...screaming (so to speak). They said they saw a snake, a huge one. They were filling gravel into a ditch that would support a new retaining wall when the creature appeared. Various people inspected the site after the four or more workers left, and there was no sign of a giant snake. The workers came back, and then a couple of days later, they ran off the job again. Animal Control investigated and found nothing. Then...a day or so later (if I have my chronology correct) the snake came out into view again -- about eight feet long, probably a python. The creature escaped. Animal Control said it probably had been hibernating when the costruction crew rousted it from its slumber. Lots and lots of phone calls and fuss ensued. My friend Martin, who manages the property for Isa-Kae Meksin, a well-known community activist, said that since they couldn't catch the snake, Animal Control proposed that the workers just continue their project and bury it. (This is against their policies of not allowing residents simply to kill problem animals.) Isa was horrified; she did not want the snake destroyed despite the delay and additional expense of finding another alternative. In fact, Isa told me a few minutes ago, that she would love to let the animal live on the property.

"Just go up a palm tree and make your nest," she joked. Eat rats to your heart's desire. (But stay away from the kitties and small dogs, please.)

Isa has received numerous proposals and suggestions concerning the animal. One concerned person said, it may be hibernating, but this isn't the tropics. Someone please throw that snake a blanket.

Another suggestion was that she sell it for a lot of money. Virtually all of the people who emailed the Echo Park Animal Alliance with suggestions were appalled at Animal Control's proposal to bury the snake.

Isa says she'd rather give it to the zoo, if they'll take it.

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