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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"Wessie the Snake Likely a Goner"

Last summer, there were several sightings of a giant mystery snake, later nicknamed "Wessie," along the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine. The snake was seen by multiple people, including police who saw it eating a beaver. In August, a large snakeskin was found along the river, which some people think came from Wessie. Others think it was planted there as a hoax. As to which one of those is true, I have no idea.
The snakeskin

Wessie created a sensation and news of the sightings travelled around the country thanks to the internet. But, people probably won't be seeing the snake again this year.

Why? Well, because it's probably dead.

The Portland Press Herald reports in a new article with the title: "Wessie the Snake likely a goner, but hiss legend will stay with us:"

"The large snake spotted this summer in and around the Presumpscot River in Westbrook is likely dead by now, done in by the cold that arrived in the late fall or early winter.
"But the legend of Wessie lives on.
"'It doesn't really matter if there continues to be sightings or if it was even real in the first place,' said Abigail Cioffi, executive director of the Downtown Westbrook Coalition. 'It's a fun thing. It's more about the idea of it and this ridiculous story of a giant snake in downtown Westbrook.'
"The hype began in June, when a resident made the first report of a 10-foot-long snake in Riverbank Park. Westbrook police officers said they spotted the snake swimming in the river and eating what appeared to have been a beaver.
"Then, in August, a resident walking near the bank of the river found a shed snakeskin later identified as the product of an 8- or 9-foot green anaconda, a native of tropical South America and one of the largest snakes in the world. No one could confirm the skin came from the same snake, and the find led some to speculate that the skin was placed near the river as a hoax.
"The snake sightings captivated locals and led to the creation of social media pages on behalf of Wessie. The discovery of the anaconda skin elevated the legend and attracted national media attention, as well as Wessie fans who came to scour the park.
"But as the temperatures dropped, the trail went cold.
"'We have had no further sightings,' said Westbrook Police Chief Janine Roberts.
"Interested residents still ask Roberts about the snake, but the chief would not voice any theories about its whereabouts or origins.
"The lack of any additional sightings doesn't surprise snake experts. The predicted as much.
" 'The snake probably didn't make it past October,' said Derek Yorks, a biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. That's because a snake as large as the one reported by witnesses would not be native to Maine, Yorks said."

Read the rest here.

The article also features an interview with Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum. The museum has a piece from the snakeskin found in August and they have been told that they will be given the whole skin.

Although Wessie is likely dead, it was an interesting story while it was being seen. I enjoyed following it on this blog last  year…

The legend of Wessie will likely live on...

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