LOWER TOWNSHIP, NJ (CBS) – Officials have released an update on an escaped snake that had residents on edge in southern New Jersey.

While the reptile is still missing, the authorities say the snake in question is a red-tailed boa constrictor. It is approximately six feet long and eight pounds and “as wary of humans as they are of it.”

“No one should feel unsafe in their own backyard,” said Lower Township Manager Mike Voll in a release. “This was an unfortunate case of a pet snake that wasn’t being watched properly and it caused concern when it got away. The bottom line is that people don’t have to be afraid.”

According to Chief William Mastriana, the owner, a resident of Villas, is not facing any charges since it’s not illegal to own a snake in New Jersey. But the owner is reportedly accepting responsibility for not keeping a close watch on the animal when he had it out of its tank.

Dr. Nick Holland, of Shore Animal Control Services, says boa constrictors are shy and nocturnal. They’re native to South America and some parts of Mexico.

The snake was last seen by a woman who took a photo of it eating a bird on the 200 block of Arbor Road last week.

Police say that since the search for the snake began, snake-themed items have hit local stores in the area and two parody Twitter accounts, @VillasSnake and @CapeMayPython, have been created.

Anyone who sees the reptile is asked to call police at 609-886-2711 and then animal control at 1-800-351-1822.

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