A batch of snakes - including a couple 7-footers - was dumped at a Southern California Little League fields this week, prompting a scramble to round them up before they startle anyone.
At least two snakes apparently tossed over a fence last weekend remain unaccounted for, prompting a warning for coaches and people exercising at Entradero Park in West Torrance.
Neal Marks, who cuts the grass and maintains the fields, said he discovered eight containers and four snakes when he showed up for work Saturday morning.
Someone apparently wanting to get rid of the reptiles tossed them over the chain-link fence in the shoebox-size plastic containers and into the brush around the Little League's south entrance on Halison Street.
"There was a 7-foot python," Marks said. "... There was a corn snake and there was a baby boa in one of the water buckets. We found another 7-footer down here by the fence line."
At a house nearby, residents on Halison spotted two snakes on a garage roof and others hanging in the trees overlooking the baseball fields.
"Nobody knew where they came from," resident Hal Marsh said.
Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said animal control officers have recovered six snakes so far, including a reticulated python, a yellow anaconda, a jaguar carpet python, a carpet python, and a diamond python.
Police suspect there are two more out there somewhere, although Marks puts the number at four.
None of the recovered snakes was poisonous. Watt said they appeared to be from a private snake collection. Who dumped them is unknown.
"All of the snakes are exotic snakes not native to the Southern California area that likely were kept in a home or business for several years by their owner," Watt said. "From the containers recovered, there appears to be two additional snakes from the original number abandoned. While none of the snakes are poisonous, they are all constrictor snakes that could be a danger to small pets."
Taking a break from cutting the grass, Marks said he suspects the missing snakes might have slithered up a drain pipe in search of water. He planned to keep looking for them.
"As soon as we saw them, we put up a warning for all the coaches - Be careful near the Halison hill," he said. "It's kind of a little scare. "
Marks made sure three women taking a walk around the baseball fields Wednesday kept on the lookout.
"He told us, 'Be careful when you guys go walking,' " Torrance resident Mahbas Hosseini said. "We're watching."
Watt said Torrance animal control officers and police detectives are investigating the case. Willfully abandoning pets is against the law.