A two-metre (6ft) pet yellow anaconda called Medusa is on the loose in a South Africa town just north of the coastal city of Durban.
The snake’s owner urged residents of Phoenix not to be afraid.
“She’s a gentle giant, she just looks scary,” Preesen Nair said.
He said Hollywood had given non-venomous anacondas, usually found in the Amazon of South America, a bad name: “She is harmless and is not going to eat you like in the movies.”
Mr Nair said Medusa had escaped on Wednesday evening between 18:00 and 21:00 as her tank was being cleaned out.
Her enclosure has a dam set up with water for a cooler environment and it takes a couple of days to clear out.
The snake had been put in a lockable tub while the maintenance was being carried out, but she had broken the lock.
Mr Nair, who has 15 snakes in total, said Medusa was unlikely to have gone far and might be chilling under a tree somewhere quiet.
“It’s a matter of finding her before the wrong person finds her and kills her,” he said.
He urged anyone who came across her to get in touch.