SHIRLEY -- An 8-foot snake found in the woods off Fredonian Street on Saturday, Oct. 11, was transported first to the police station and then to a New Hampshire pet store, said police Chief Paul Thibodeau.

The snake is a Brazilian boa that police believe was abandoned by its owner. A woman walking on the wooded pathways of Fredonian Park spotted the snake and called the police.

The police officer who responded tried to contact the animal control officer, who was unavailable, Thibodeau said. Fortunately, the snake was slow-moving on a cold day and the officer was able to capture it with the help of a neighbor. It was taken to the station in a box.

Sgt. Violette knew of a specialty pet store in Manchester, N.H., and "they came to pick it up," Thibodeau said.

The snake is a constrictor, capable of devouring small animals and pets. It could also be dangerous to a small child, Thibodeau said.

The person believed to be the owner is a man named Dave who had posted a flier in the Village Pizza Shop, offering to sell or give away his pet snake, tanks and accessories. The snake pictured on the flier was a dead ringer for the one found in the woods.

Police have charged the man, who formerly lived in Shirley, with cruelty to animals. However, he has apparently left the area and has not been located, Thibodeau said.