The Cat-Eating, 12-Foot Python Terrorizing Florida Has Finally Been Captured — VIDEO
Residential neighborhoods are used to having their fair share of missing dogs and cats, or maybe an exotic bird or two, but a terrifying 12-foot python? A cat-killing Burmese python was captured in South Florida Friday after being on the loose in a residential area. Unfortunately, the 12-foot-long snake may also be responsible for all the recent missing cats reports in the neighborhood.
The Palm Beach Post reported that authorities in Port St. Lucie discovered the python after receiving calls on Friday morning from residents about a large snake roaming the area. Sgt. John Holman first arrived at an empty lot, where he found a dead cat. Holman then entered the waist-high bushes nearby and came face-to-face with the 120-pound, cat-murdering reptile.
Holman needed some backup to catch the python, because seriously — it's huge snake that just killed someone's perfectly nice cat. "Once I saw the size of it, I called for a few more officers," Holman told local news station WPBF. "I'm not going to do that by myself."
It took four officers to wrestle the python out from the bushes, and the snake is now in custody of a licensed owner, to the relief of every cat owner in Port St. Lucie. "I wondered what happened to all the little animals," resident Denise Keel told WPBF.
Well, now we know.
Holman, who takes care of snakes as a hobby, believes the giant python was probably someone's pet, even though Burmese pythons are illegal to own in Florida. He said snakes such as pythons can be easy to own when they're young, but once they grow to 12 feet, they become too much to handle. At that point, many people let them loose.
Unfortunately, this is a reoccurring situation in South Florida. Burmese pythons are native to Asia, but at this point, they're part of the natural wildlife of South Florida, as owners continued to release the giant snakes into the Florida Everglades over the last several decades. Burmese pythons now have an established breeding population in South Florida, and researchers say their numbers are expected to grow.
According to the National Park Service, almost 2,000 Burmese pythons have been removed from the Everglades National Park since 2000. Removal is necessary to preserve the area's natural wildlife, which researchers say is being decimated by the snakes. Because Burmese pythons are invaders of the land, they can seriously threaten the wildlife and ecological systems of southern Florida.
And, of course, they may also kill your neighbor's cat while they're at it.