Visitors to the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana expect to see a lot of "unique" things during their visit. The probability of seeing something out of the ordinary increases exponentially during Mardi Gras. So, a discovery by New Orleans Police this past weekend, although shocking, wasn't probably a real surprise.

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Officers say they encountered a man on Bourbon Street who was holding a 10-foot albino python. The man was allegedly using the snake as a means to solicit from those passing by on  Bourbon Street. The man was cited for possession of a wild/exotic animal and exhibition without a permit.

Media reports suggest the man, Jason Wilson, was also arrested on an outstanding warrant stemming from a similar incident on Bourbon Street back in November. He was also found to have violated a court order that prohibited him from displaying the python outside his residence.

Philip Strong via
Philip Strong via

The incident was noticed by Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry who shared this on his social media accounts.

Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries took the snake to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. Officials at the zoo say they will care for the snake but only temporarily. It is possible that the man could regain custody of the animal if he files for and obtains the proper permits. However, no timetable was given as to when or if that might occur.

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According to reports, many vendors, such as Wilson are being threatened with fines and even jail time for operating in the French Quarter without the proper license or permits. The crackdown is part of a plan by New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell to eliminate unpermitted activities in the heart of the city's major tourist areas.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells






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