- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK, S.C. (AP) - A boa constrictor could be loose at South Carolina’s only national park.

Rangers at Congaree National Park posted on Facebook that a visitor reported releasing the snake Sunday night from the park’s 2.5 mile (4 kilometer) boardwalk loop.

Rangers say boa constrictors are not native to the park and releasing the snake was illegal. They say native species shouldn’t be let loose either because they can bring diseases.

Park staff is asking anyone who sees the boa constrictor to report it immediately. Boa constrictors are native to Central and South America. They typically squeeze and suffocate small prey before eating.

Rangers said last week that the synchronized fireflies season has started at the park 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Columbia and the best viewing is just after dusk.

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