A Toronto family thought a ball python found in a sewer this week was their missing pet – but in a twist fit for a snake, they said the reptile that actually slithered into their lives was an "impostor."
The Sanella family thought they were finally reunited with their 11-month-old pet, Monty, on Tuesday after the reptile made a daring escape from their home in June, the CBC reported.
But the family quickly saw that the snake’s skin pattern didn’t match that of Monty, and realized it was a different ball python entirely.
"How many pythons are loose in the sewers of Toronto? There's a lot, obviously," Samantha Sanella told the outlet.
Toronto Animal Services has found 28 stray snakes since 2017, Canada's Global News reported.
Sanella told the outlet that they’ve nicknamed the pretender “Sneaky Pete,” and the snake will be returned to the Toronto Animal Services.
As for Monty, his whereabouts remain unknown.
“We don’t know where it is, it could still be in the basement or it could be in the wall,” Sannella told the Global News.
Ball pythons are known for their small size and docile temperament, making the snake a common household pet, according to Animal Planet's website. They can live between 20 and 30 years in captivity. The species is nonvenomous and rarely bites.
Snakes are masters of escape, the website says, and recommends owners make sure that lids and panels on cages are secured and locked.