Snake Escape!

By Natasha Palance, Staff Writer

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Biology teacher John Ernst’s snakes, George and Georgia, went missing Oct. 21. Although Georgia was found the next day by Sophomore Sander Yu in Ernst’s classroom during 7th period, George’s whereabouts are still unknown. 

Ernst noticed their disappearance when he realized that the latch to the snakes’ cage was unlocked. He then searched through the bedding on the bottom of the cage, but had no luck.

 “They are quite the escape artists,” Ernst said. “They are able to squeeze their bodies into very small places. They have a great desire to wander and travel.”

 Yu unintentionally stumbled upon Georgia while going through a stack of papers near the window in Ernst’s classroom. She abruptly slid out of the papers and landed on his feet.

 “I was freaking out,” Yu said. “I’m not a fan of snakes. I just told Mr. Ernst and ran out of the room.”

 Ernst ordered the corn snakes online; first Georgia in 2008, then George a year later. According to Ernst, they are non-venomous, make great classroom pets and cause no harm to students.

 Staff security and Ernst are unaware of who is to blame for their escape.

 “We don’t know whether it was intentional or an accident,” security team leader Terry Bell said.

 According to Principal Joan Benz, the school is taking no specific precautions to find the non -threatening snake although staff and students are told to keep a look out and not to worry.

 “[We] wouldn’t have anything dangerous at the school,” Benz said.

 Georgia has already escaped once last year. She was found hiding in Mr. Hurless’s computer lab in a back corner of the room.

 In order to prevent this episode from happening a third time, Ernst is deciding between two plans: to not let any students handle the snakes, or to designate a student to ensure that the cage is closed at the end of each class.

 Science department head Clinton Brown has sent out a letter asking the school staff to keep a look out. The letter also informs them that the snakes prefer to stay in a cool place.

 Benz’s advice to teachers with classroom pets is to make sure that the cages are secure at the end of the day.

 If George is located, contact Ernst or any other staff member immediately.

 According to Ernst, make certain to handle the snake with care. George will not bite – he will only be a little “squiggly.”