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Pueblo Police say venomous snake ad is a hoax

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:38:49 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 19 2013 06:43:34 PM CDT

A Craigslist ad regarding four missing black mamba snakes put Puebloans on edge, but police say the ad is likely a hoax.

PUEBLO, Colo. -

A Craigslist ad regarding four missing black mamba snakes put people in Pueblo on edge, but police say the ad is likely a hoax.

The poster writes, "My collection of rare Black Mamba Snakes have gone lost as of Thursday.  They are simply dark grey to black snakes that are slender and range in length from 3 to 6 feet."

The unidentified person claims to live on 6th Street between North Erie Avenue and North Fountain Avenue in Pueblo, and says the snakes were spotted near play equipment and grassy areas at El Centro Del Quinto Sol Park near 6th and Erie in Pueblo.

Black mamba snakes are fast, nervous and lethally venomous, according to the National Geographic Society.  They are illegal to own in the state of Colorado.

Lindsey Vigna, a lieutenant with Animal Law Enforcement in Pueblo, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that she was notified of the ad on Friday.

"I immediately pulled up the Craigslist ad and saw it for myself.  There was no address or name or phone number listed on the ad," Vigna said.

Parks and Wildlife officers, Pueblo police officers and animal law enforcement responded to the park Friday and searched the area for about five hours, according to Vigna.  They mowed the grass and asked everyone on the block about the snakes.  In the end, nothing was found that indicated there were venomous snakes on the loose.

Neighbors in the area were well aware of the black mamba scare, and though they realized it could be a hoax, said they wished police would have done more.

"They told us to be watching in our trees and our yards," Darla Lautenschlager told KRDO NewsChannel 13.  "I was quite concerned."

On Monday, Pueblo Police found a revealing clue in the mamba mystery.  Another ad, posted on the same day by the same person, claims that a fire-breathing unicorn is also missing in the same area as the snakes.

"He's not your average unicorn and does have a temper," the ad details.  "He is simply a white unicorn but he does breathe fire so if you see him do not try to capture him please contact me.  Also please note he is not dangerous to children and he answers to George."

Pueblo police said that in light of finding this ad, they will not spend any more time looking for the snakes or the anonymous poster.

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