A reptile expert claims that the giant snake slithering around a New Jersey lake is actually a green anaconda, but was “sworn to secrecy” by a local animal control official to avoid sparking panic.
Gerald Andrejcak told NJ.com that he originally reported the fugitive snake — which has terrorized the community around Lake Hopatcong for most of the summer — as a boa constrictor, but only because he was following orders.
“It’s a green anaconda,” Andrejcak told the news site.
“I’ve known its species (since last week), but I was sworn to keep my mouth shut by local officials to avoid causing panic. Now that there’s a panic, I’m going on the record.”
Andrejcak — who has more than 20 years’ experience handling large snakes — said he wasn’t lying so much as he was only stretching the truth “because it’s a member of the boa family.”
He said he told Hopatcong animal control officer Dale Sloat — who recruited the snakemaster to join the hunt — that he believed they were looking for an anaconda more than a week ago.
But Sloat allegedly told him to keep quiet about the species so as to not cause any alarm with residents.
Several people, mostly swimmers and boaters, have reported seeing the snake since June.
Andrejcak said he spotted the snake enter a boat house of a lakefront property Thursday — but the serpent slipped past Andrejcak’s leg after he dove in the water.
Andrejcak said the anaconda was about 16 feet long with a head the size of his hand.
Green anacondas can grow to be as long as 29 feet and weigh more than 550 pounds, according to National Geographic.
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Snake on the loose at New Jersey lake is green anaconda: expert have 422 words, post on www.nydailynews.com at July 21, 2014. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.