HOMESTEAD, Fla., Aug. 2 (UPI) — An 11-foot Burmese python suspected in the disappearance of several chickens, goats and pet cats was captured in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, authorities said.
Firefighters were the first to respond to a call of the snake being spotted at a farm in Homestead near the Everglades, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Monday.
Firefighters found the snake’s tail, almost 12 inches in diameter, sticking out from under a shipping container on the property.
“Their first impression was, if they didn’t grab it by the tail, it would get away,” Lt. Scott Mullin of Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue’s Venom Response Bureau said.
“So they grabbed it,” Mullin said. “Firefighters do what they’ve got to do.”
Mullin and the firefighters pulled the female snake out of a hole beneath the shipping container.
“It had just eaten a big chicken and had a full belly and couldn’t get down into a hole,” Mullin said.
Burmese pythons are non-venomous. They can kill by constriction and inflict a painful bite.
Pythons come out of the Everglades into surrounding communities because food is plentiful there, Mullin said.
“They want easy prey, and a farm on the edge of the Everglades is like a McDonald’s in the desert: an oasis of fast food,” Mullin said. “This farmer had lost pets too and in this case, the chicken had been taken off its nest.”