WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – It’s one of those animals you hope you never come face to face with, but one West valley woman wasn't so lucky. Kerri Whiteman was attacked in her own backyard by a huge snake and now neighbors are worried this huge reptile may strike again.
Whiteman and her dogs were out enjoying a little gardening last week when they were attacked.
"I heard my dog yep and I turned around and I thought he had one of those branches," explained Whiteman. When she realized her dog was in danger she just reacted.
Whiteman said, "I put my two fingers in its mouth and I was pulling the other way."
The snake fought back, sinking its teeth into Kerri’s arm and wrapping itself around her waist. Luckily she was able to pull the snake off of her and get away, but her neighbors fear they may not be so fortunate.
Orlando Sanchez said, "We have small great grandchildren and it so happened they were here that day when the incident happened. We would not know what to do if a snake attacked one of the children so we're really concerned."
West Valley City Animal Services has been out to look for the snake as has a reptile rescue. Based on the size of the bite mark, and Kerri’s description, they think it's a boa or a python.
Nathan Beckstead said, "Definitely could go after somebody's pet. I'd worry about very small children obviously."
Beckstead says the snake is likely still nearby hiding out in a garage or shed. Just to be sure the snake has no place to hide Kerri has also cut back her bushes and shrubs. She's still a bit afraid to go into the garage alone but says she knows the snake isn't going to attack unless provoked.
Whiteman said, "They don't want to attack you unless they're looking for food. I interrupted something with my dog and that's why I got attacked."
West Valley City Animal Services is still trying to figure out what it is working with here, but they're confident it's probably somebody's pet. If that's the case the person responsible for letting the snake loose could be facing some charges.