01/14/2014 05:21 EST | Updated 03/16/2014 05:59 EDT

Serpent Slithers Into Richmond Cellphone Store

Employees at a Richmond mall got a slithery surprise Monday evening when they discovered a serpent inside a cellphone store.

The three-foot-long ball python, now named Wind, was found in the backroom of a Wind Mobile store around 5:30 p.m. PT at Lansdowne Mall. 

It is not clear how the snake got into the store, but mall manager Jason Roberts says it is possible someone dumped it there or it escaped from its owner's possession. There is no pet shop in the mall.

"We're investigating this as kind of a one-off incident," said Roberts, who added he has never heard of anything like this happening at the mall in the past.

Reptile Rescue Adoption and Education Society in Richmond was called to remove the snake.  

"He's about two years old. He's really dull right now. He's in shed cycle," said Reptile Rescue's Val Lofvendahl. "He's a little bit dehydrated, but he's not thin."

Lofvendahl says ball pythons, which can grow up to six feet long, are the "least likely snakes to bite."  

The snake is legal to own in many — though not all — B.C. municipalities, including Richmond.

Wind will remain at Reptile Rescue's facility until an adoptive home can be found. 

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