Snakeskin found in Maine belongs to giant anaconda

©Dave Lonsdale

A green anaconda, the largest snake in the world by weight, may be on the loose in a town in Maine. The first sighting came in June, when a Westbrook woman reported seeing a snake as long as a truck. A police officer spotted it shortly thereafter, and then another person stumbled on a 12-foot-long molted snakeskin. Now, researchers have analyzed DNA from the snakeskin and identified it as coming from a female green anaconda, a species native to South America. If the snakeskin wasn’t planted as a hoax, it was probably left by an individual that escaped from captivity, say experts. Locals have nicknamed the snake “Wessie,” embracing it as something akin to their own Loch Ness Monster. But despite this warm welcome, the snake will not be able to survive once the weather turns cold. Read more at National Geographic.