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Hartselle couple claim ownership of python found on road

By Deangelo McDaniel · 340-2469

HARTSELLE — A man who owns more than 30 exotic animals has claimed the 11-foot python that Hartselle police caught Tuesday on Nance Ford Road.

Kevin Self said the snake he calls Bruce apparently fell off a trailer while he was moving some of his animals from Cullman to Hartselle.

"Somehow the lock on the cage came loose, and he fell out on Nance Ford Road," he said.

Self and his fiancée, April Crews, reside about one-half mile from Nance Ford Road.

He said they own several exotic animals and use them for shows with schoolchildren and at nursing homes. Self and Crews are also volunteers at the Birmingham Zoo.

"We started looking for Bruce immediately after we realized he was missing," Self said. "Apparently, the Police Department had already caught him."

Sgt. James Holladay, with the help of Lt. Robert Finn and a passer-by, caught the snake.

"He wasn't aggressive, and we didn't have any problems," Holladay said Tuesday.

Self said he planned to leave the python in Cullman, but someone apparently put him on the trailer.

"This snake is not dangerous," he said. "We've used him at several shows at schools, and his picture has been in the paper numerous times with schoolchildren."

Self said he thought the snake was dead when he realized he wasn't in the cage.

"We got in our vehicle and drove down Nance Ford Road and back to Cullman looking for him," he said.

Self said they learned that Hartselle police had the snake by reading a story in The Daily.

"The police must have gotten there just minutes after the snake fell out," he said.

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