Man told to 'put a rope around' his snake

A ball python (Wikipedia/MusikAnimal)
A ball python (Wikipedia/MusikAnimal)

A man fined for letting his snake roam free says he'll fight the ticket in court.

Jerry Kimball thought it was an April Fools' Day prank when an animal control officer told him to put it on a leash, reports the Associated Press.

"He was literally asking me to put a rope around my snake," said Mr Kimball. "I was like, 'Dude, no.'"

The fire bee ball python was slithering around Falls Park in Sioux Falls. Mr Kimball said he often took it to the park "to let people know that snakes aren't killers".

Animal control supervisor Julie DeJong said the snake was "at large", because the law said it had to be leashed.

"If it's in public and it's not on a leash, it's at large. The ordinance doesn't really distinguish between animals."

A 'collar apparatus enabling secure handling of a snake by tether' - or snake leash - was patented by an American inventor in 2002. It's not known if it ever went into production.