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Local Legend Confirmed? Experts Find Evidence of 'Wessie,' The Elusive Truck-Sized Green Anaconda

Sep 02, 2016 04:16 AM EDT
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On Aug. 20, the skin of a giant anaconda has been found at the Presumpscot River in the town of Westbrook, Maine, which looked like the skin from the elusive truck-sized snake, which locals call Wessie.

A sample of the snake skin was immediately brought to the University of Texas.

Green Anaconda

John Placyk Jr., an associate biology professor/herpetologist who tested the snakeskin, confirmed that it belongs to a green anaconda. In an interview with Bangor Daily News, the scientist said he is one hundred percent sure about his findings. He also revealed that the snake could grow 30 feet long.

"The skin is from a green anaconda, not a yellow anaconda. So [it's] the bigger species -- the one that gets 20 to 30 feet," he said.

National Geographic said Placyk consulted with his friend Jesús Rivas, who in an anaconda expert at New Mexico Highlands University. According to Rivas, the snakeskin belongs to a 10- to 12-year-old female green anaconda, whose ancestors were most likely from Peru or Bolivia.

'Wessie' the Elusive Snake

The findings sparked a debate on whether a local legend has been confirmed. As narrated by WMUR Manchester‎, snake sightings began in Maine in June when a woman filed a report to the Westbrook police, claiming she spotted a massive snake as big as a truck with a head as big as a basketball in Riverbank Park. The police began to patrol, but until this August, there was no evidence found.

Meanwhile, the Westbrook Police Department has released their official statement on Facebook, saying they do not know yet whether the skin was planted there or was really left by an anaconda.

Sharing his opinion, Cryptozoologist Bill Brock told WMTW News 8 that the snakeskin likely isn't Wessie's because it's "intact." Brock said snakes usually tear their skin in pieces when shedding.

Live Science explains the process of shedding skin snakes is called molting, and it happens at least thrice a year.

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