Python loose in the park! But which park?

We got a voice mail from North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston this afternoon at 2:50 PM, saying, “I hope you’re not at Cowen Park playfield…uh playground. A seven-foot yellow python got loose and he’s headed for the playground.”

Now, that’s an amusing story, but Cowen Park is not in Ravenna. So I just mention the missing snake on twitter, like this:

A few minutes later, the official Seattle Police Department twitter feed says this:

Oh no! Wrong neighborhood! And wrong park! Lower case “p” or not, people are going to get confused!

But I check with Terrie Johnston again, to make sure. “61st and Brooklyn Cowen Park” is the email reply.

View Snake on the loose! in a larger map

Decidedly NOT Ravenna Park.

But the damage has been done. The SPD tweet has now been REtweeted over 300 times (probably because of that “Snakes on a Plane” movie reference being clever and all).

And, of course, someone has started a new twitter feed…FOR THE SNAKE:

Thankfully, the SPD just updated the story on their blog, and you can read it here (“Officers On Python Patrol After Snake Escapes In Ravenna Neighborhood“).

An excerpt for you:

As police officers and officials from Seattle parks department and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife search the neighborhood and Cowen/Ravenna Park for the snake, you and your small pets should keep to the trails, and stay away from drainage ditches, thick foliage, and hollow logs, according to Seattle’s resident snake expert, Peter Miller.

Miller, reptile keeper at Woodland Park Zoo, estimates the snake is around 15-20 pounds and says it “has the potential” to be dangerous. ”These guys are ambush predators,” he says. “They find a well protected covered area and they sit and they wait.”

KING 5 news Reporter John Langeler got the location right, though:

And it looks like Seattle Parks and Recreation has put up signage.

John Langeler / KING 5

If Timid the Albino Python is found (yeah, his name is Timid), we’ll let you know here.


  1. MOST EXCELLENT as my dog is headed to park with dog walker now.

  2. Wherever it is, has the python been captured? Anyone know?

    • I haven’t seen any word of a capture yet. I would think the SPD would update their post if there had been one. I recommend you check back there. (I’ll be doing the same if I don’t hear anything elsewhere.)

  3. Why is the word “Caution” in quotes on the sign? I am thinking that unquoted Caution is in order, at least until Timid is found.

  4. The park distinction is academic. If I were a snake I’d head down the path toward the trees!

  5. That’s right! The snake was spotted in Cowen Park, not Ravenna Park. There is no possible way the snake would be attracted to a dense wooden forest to hide in. No possible way. The snake will respect these arbitrary lines we’ve placed on these two parks.

  6. Hmm, as I was driving my kid to camp at the theater near Cowen park 2 weeks ago, I saw a gentleman out “walking” his snakes, headed toward the park. Wonder if this is same said snake. Or did this snake take a runner?

  7. The Decline Pack connection will be great. This will manage system to be able to device move concurrently. A lot of people hunt for this specific attribute from the appstore regardless of what the actual app is designed for.

  8. is not always clear, tugohh, about what “economics” is. It’s not the study of money and “stuff,” it’s the study of utility and well-being–or, even better, “wealth,”–with money and stuff being the best way to approximate that. I agree with John but mostly I don’t think economists actually study well being independent of money. (I should note that economics is actually about how to allocate scarce resources to maximize well-being, not just well-being in general.) Cowen seems reluctant to shift focus from money to well-being. He summarizes his thinking about the internet (and I guess ephemeralization more generally) as follows:[T]he overall picture is this:• We are having more fun, in part because of the internet. We are also having more cheap fun.• We are coming up short on the revenue side, so it is harder to pay our debts, whetherindividuals, businesses, or governments. That situation means ongoing financialhardships, including crises of sovereign debt around the world.• Some of the major technological marvels of today’s world are not doing so much tocreate new jobs. They’ll bring big gains but without putting too many people back to work, IT specialists of the right kind excluded.The internet is wonderful, but it’s not saving the revenue-generating sector of theeconomy.*So Cowen feels a need to treat the revenue-generating sector of the economy as special. He doesn’t seem to have any model of how, as a society, we can make economic tradeoffs without money tugohh if he’s right about his overall thesis, that’s a very important question. He doesn’t propose a metric for social value other than money, or even seem to notice the question which again is very important given his thesis. At one point he converts some fun on the internet into $20 without any discussion of how we assign dollar values to internet fun . I also agree with Tim that Cowen is trivializing the internet by emphasizing fun . For example, online discussions and wikis permit people with rare or complex diseases to learn how to manage them better than their doctors in many cases. This simultaneously increases their quality of life, improves their medical outcomes, and reduces costs. Focusing on fun greatly understates the value of online resources. But we have no way to measure that value and thus no way to quantitatively factor it into our social tradeoffs. * There’s no apparent way to cite a location in a Kindle book. Quoting one is hard. Generally the Kindle format will be bad for discussions of eBook content. So not all ephemeralization is value enhancing, even if it is economically very successful.


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