A HEAVILY pregnant mother ran from police in order to stop them taking a pet python which she did not have a permit to own.
Stacy Therease Sharrad, 33, pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to keeping a restricted animal and obstructing police.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Donna Sperling said police searched Sharrad's home about 12.45pm on September 13 during which she told them a snake was in the bedroom.
"She said she had owned the snake for six weeks and had not gotten a permit as it was expensive," she said.
Snr Const Sperling said police told Sharrad she was not able to keep the snake and warned her as she tried to leave with it.
She said Sharrad became extremely emotional and then ran off with the snake.
"She was heavily pregnant so officers did not give chase as she said she had been experiencing pains," she said.
Police later found the woman in a nearby vacant lot but the python could not be found.
"She said she panicked as she did not want the snake removed because it was like family," Snr Const Sperling said.
Defence lawyer Justin Geldard said a friend of Sharrad's had purchased the snake through Facebook and left it behind.
"She felt it was a family pet and objected to having to give it up," Mr Geldard said.
There was some confusion in the court room as to what had ended up happening to the snake.
Police believe Sharrad let it go in the vacant lot.
"If it is a pet it is probably not doing so well," Snr Const Sperling said.
Magistrate Graeme Tatnell warned Sharrad the maximum fine for keeping a snake without a permit was $10,000.
Sharrad protested that she had been in the process of acquiring a permit.
"Had you been able to go through the process you probably would have been given a permit," Mr Tatnell said.
The magistrate fined her $850 for both offences.