05/23/2014 06:43 EDT | Updated 07/23/2014 05:59 EDT

Ball python loose in apartment building 'not dangerous'

A wildlife expert tasked with capturing a snake in a Halifax apartment building says he knows where it is and insists the missing ball python poses little risk to people.

Tenants in one of the Ocean Towers buildings were originally warned to be on the lookout for a boa constrictor and not leave pets or infants alone until it was caught. It was later determined the snake was not a boa but a ball python, a commonly kept pet snake that's less than a metre long.

There are hundreds of apartment residents, and some on the sixth, seventh and eighth floors were alarmed when they received a notice under their doors warning of a loose snake in the building.

"We just went to the office and they told us not to freak out, but why send a letter and then tell us not to freak out?" said tenant Kim Martin.

"You know what, if I had a baby? My cat's going to be there all by itself all day."

But Terry MacLeod, who runs Nuisance Wildlife, says the python is trapped in the walls of one apartment.

"It's not a dangerous snake. A little three-year-old could play with this young snake. It's like a garter snake out there in your yard, you know, that we all played with when we were younger kids. But it's contained in the room, and it fed two days ago and it may not feed for another few weeks."

MacLeod hopes he'll be able to find the snake by Friday afternoon.  

News of exotic snake species has been in the spotlight since two New Brunswick boys were killed last year after an African rock python escaped from its cage in a pet store in a building where the boys were sleeping.