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Police find 8-foot boa constrictor while investigating Oppenheimer Park fight
VANCOUVER -- Police officers responding to a call about a man with a machete in Oppenheimer Park Friday afternoon found what they were looking for, and then some.
In a social media post, Vancouver Police Department chief Adam Palmer said officers responding to the scene found two machetes, an axe, "a club with nails in it" and four replica handguns.
They also found an eight-foot boa constrictor, Palmer said, including photo of the snake as proof.
The incident occurred less than 24 hours before the provincial public safety order clearing the park of homeless campers is set to take effect.
B.C. Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson said Friday that the province had offered temporary housing in hotel rooms or other facilities to everyone living in the park, and that he expected only "a handful" of people intended to remain there when the order takes effect Saturday at noon.
In a press release late Friday afternoon, Vancouver police said officers arrived at the park around 12:30 p.m. after receiving a call about a fight involving a man with the machete.
According to police, the suspects in the fight "had dispersed" by the time officers arrived, but witnesses directed them to a tent, where they found the snake and the weapons Palmer referenced in his tweet.
Officers found additional weapons as their investigation progressed, police said, adding to the list a real shotgun, which was loaded, and a replica shotgun, as well as a crossbow, "multiple knives," a baton and a baseball bat. Police also found one more machete, one more axe and one more club with metal spikes on it than Palmer had initially mentioned.
Police said their investigation of the incident is ongoing, and one suspect is in custody. City of Vancouver Animal Services was called to seize the snake, police said.