LA PALOMA, Texas - While working near the Rio Grande today, a U.S. Border Patrol agent captured a six-foot long snake that is not native to the region.

The red-tail Boa constrictor was found near Cemetery Road and the levee while the agent was on patrol. Knowing that the snake was not indigenous to the area and that it could pose a danger to people in the area, the agent caught it and took it to the Harlingen Border Patrol Station.

The Boa was later turned over to Gilbert Martinez, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife park ranger from the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, who said the snake was probably released into the wild due to its size. 

"We really appreciate Border Patrol's efforts in capturing this Boa. It could have been dangerous for people and wildlife alike," Martinez said. "People who release their pets on a National Wildlife Refuge, are not only committing a crime, they are disturbing the balance of the ecosystem. South Texas' wildlife isn't adapted to exotic species like Boa constrictors and they can't always defend themselves."

"As Border Patrol agents we have a mission to protect this nation from all threats," said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Woody Lee. "While capturing snakes isn't one of our typical duties, this Boa constrictor posed a threat to the safety of the people we protect. Thanks to the quick-thinking agent and the assistance of the park ranger, this snake was unable to cause harm to anyone."