updated 07/21/2014 AT 3:50 PM ET
•originally published 07/21/2014 AT 3:55 PM ET
The plot thickens … and slithers.
Reptile specialist Gerald Andrejcak believes the snake making headlines for terrorizing New Jersey’s Lake Hopatcong is not a boa constrictor, but a green anaconda. The expert told NJ.com he recently saw the snake in a boathouse and was able to determine it was an anaconda based on his expertise, but was told by local animal control officer Dale Sloat to keep the discovery a secret.
“It’s a green anaconda,” Andrejcak said. “I’ve known its species [since last week], but I was sworn to keep my mouth shut by local officials to avoid causing a panic. Now that there’s a panic, I’m going on the record.” (For the record, boas and anacondas are members of the same species.)