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Burmese Python in Florida

Florida Burmese Python

07.25.2006 - This is the largest snake that I've ever caught as a wildlife control operator. At 11 feet in length, it's the longest animal that I've ever caught as well, even longer than that ten foot squirrel I once got. This is a Burmese Python (molurus bivittatus). It's native to the rainforests of southeast Asia. It's one of the largest species of snake in the world, and the largest known specimen so far is 27 feet long and 400 pounds. I guess that makes the one I just caught seem small, but still, that's one big snake that I caught. I got the call from an apartment complex, and the snake was actually sighted in the parking lot. I rushed out to get it, and I did not charge anything for my services, because I simply wanted to catch such a large snake. It was easy to deal with, and I quickly noticed that it seemed skinny and under-nourished. I brought it home and called a local snake rehabilitation facility, called Snake Getters. They came to my house and retrieved the snake, which they will use for breeding purposes.

If you do come across a Burmese Python in Florida, please report it to the Florida Wildlife Commission hotline: 1-888-IVE-GOT1 or they can be reported on Early Detection EDDMapS: www.eddmaps.org/florida/report/

Burmese Pythons are common and popular pet snakes. Like the boa constrictor, they are generally docile and harmless. However, they can of course grow to enormous sizes, and many pet owners get tired of them after a while, or they have to move, or who knows what, but they don't know what else to do other than release the snake into the wild. I'm guessing that's what happened with this snake. It simply didn't seem well-fed, and I'm guessing that it was released a while ago and failed to catch any prey. However this species does in fact live and breed in the state of Florida. The everglades have a healthy population of them. Everyone has made a big fuss over that Burmese found in October 2005 that had eaten an alligator and burst open. Yes, there are breeding populations of this snake down there, and in some other isolated places. So it's possible that they live and breed in Orlando, but I think this is unlikely, because no one's documented any such snakes here, to my knowledge. It's possible that the climate here is just not warm enough. Regardless, I found the above snake, and I was quite pleased with myself. It was a fine catch by any measure. It's not a stretch to say that I went to great lengths for it. I long to get another one. I'm all wrapped up in the idea of extending my stretch of hisstorical snake catches.

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