State ends hunt for snake in the lake
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has stopped looking for an alleged snake in Lake Hopatcong after it didn't touch the bait in a trap and found no evidence of its existence.
DEP workers will make one more visit to the lake Thursday, but spokesman Larry Ragonese told the New Jersey Herald "We have no belief, at this point, there is an anaconda in Lake Hopatcong” and calls the account offered by zoologist Gerald Andrejcak "not supportable."
Ragonese said state wildlife experts found no scientific or biological evidence that an exotic snake is in the area. "There were no signs of droppings or skin. Our snake experts say that if, in fact, it was a pet that was dropped off, the snake actually would be used to being fed by people and would be more likely showing itself than not showing itself." He suggested to NJ.com that residents and visitors to the lake should "go about their lives."
No pictures or video have surfaced of what Andrejcak describes as a Green Anaconda. Jefferson Mayor Russ Felter is asking for someone to come forward with a picture. “If you see something, call us, then put it on Facebook. Call us right away. And take a picture or even a video if you can. That’s the info we need,” Felter explained to the Daily Record. “There are 5,000 boats on the lake Saturday and Sunday, somebody’s got to see this thing.
Andrejcak said he had not spoken to anyone from the DEP, "You can't miss an anaconda head. If you've ever dealt with any kind of snakes, any type of anaconda, you can never forget that head. I know the color and the patterns and everything else. Right off the bat, I knew exactly what it was right when I saw it." Andrejcak said Thursday that he would continue looking. "I'm dedicated to finding this thing."
- DEP finds no evidence of anaconda in Lake Hopatcong, removes traps / New Jersey Herald
- State giving up search for Lake Hopatcong anaconda, says there's no proof it exists / NJ.com
- Letterman riffs on Lake Hopatcong snake tale / New Jersey Herald
- Mayor urges public to take picture of Lake Hopatcong snake / Daily Record
The Associated Press contributed to this story.