VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A slithering surprise shocked one Virginia Beach man while he was mowing his yard.

Michael Peck is used to seeing critters pop up in his backyard in Princess Anne Plaza. What he was not expecting was a nearly 10 foot snake slithering around while he was cutting the grass.

“At first I just kind of shrieked as a normal person would seeing a snake of that size,” Peck told 10 On Your Side.

Peck froze and contemplated his next move.

“I have a little miniature dachshund. A snake that size could easily strangle and swallow my dog,” Peck stated.

That’s when he recognized the snake to be a red-tailed boa constrictor.

“I love snakes. Venomous snakes are one thing. I used to own a red-tailed boa that almost got to the size that he or she was. I’m very comfortable around those types of animals. Its just very scary seeing it out in the wild out of nowhere,” Peck explained.

Peck tells us the snake appeared to be in distress and wasn’t showing any signs of aggression.

“She seemed very docile, just looked like she was worn out, dehydrated and needed to regain some strength. I filled a little kids’ pool up just to see if she needed some water. I think she either escaped or maybe somebody let her go because she got too big,” Peck said.

Peck sat with the reptile for several hours until his friend arrived to take it in.

“I have a very good friend who is in love with snakes, fascinated by them, owns plenty of them and he wanted to do the right thing and take care of it until the owner steps up,” Peck concluded.

Boa constrictors are not venomous and kill their prey by squeezing them. They’re native to South America and are often kept as pets. It’s against the law in Virginia to keep a snake longer than six feet. Adult Boas can reach 10 to 16 feet in length.