Plenty of odd things turn up in the Water Wheel that sits at the mouth of the Jones Falls and collects debris that would otherwise flow into the Inner Harbor, but yesterday provided perhaps the strangest, when it was discovered there was a motherfucking snake on the motherfucking trash wheel.
Yes, the operator discovered a 5-foot ball python wrapped around the power inverter of the floating, trash-sweeping wheel.
After several news outlets reported on the discovery, a dozen people have come forward claiming the python is their pet, says Adam Lindquist, manager of the Waterfront Partnership's Healthy Harbor Initiative, which runs the wheel and other programs to clean the harbor.
"[S]o I guess losing track of your ball python isn't as unusual as some might think," Lindquist concludes via email.
Some of the claimants even sent in pictures to back up their stories but, Lindquist writes, "the differences in patterns on the snakes were obvious enough that anyone could tell they were different snakes."
He reports the brown-and-black python has since been adopted.
It's still not clear—and it probably never will be clear—just how the snake found its way onto the wheel's platform. Lindquist speculates the pet either escaped or was abandoned and got washed down the falls during a rainstorm on Tuesday night.
From there, the snake should have had no problem handling its adventure in the Jones Falls.
"Many pythons are excellent swimmers and spend a lot of time in the water," according to a post on the San Diego Zoo's website. "One of their ambush techniques to catch food is to lie submerged in a stream or slow-moving river with only their head above the water, waiting for a bird or small mammal to come to the water's edge."