PALMETTO BAY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A Miami-area family woke up to presents under its tree and a 13-foot Burmese python coiled in the deep end of its pool on Christmas morning.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s venom response team wrestled with the giant constrictor snake at the Miranda family’s house, dropping it into a cage on its third try.
Personnel took the snake to a storage facility, where officials say it will be used to train incoming animal control officers.
A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department said this incident is rare but was growing before last year’s cold winter thinned the population out. Recent reports show these monster snakes swallowing alligators and deer.
The South Asian snake is a popular pet in Florida, but the love fades when they grow too large to contain. Then, the spokesperson said, they’re too often dumped into the wild.
A bill to ban the interstate trade or importing of Burmese pythons and similar large constrictor snakes is stalled in Congress.
To fully grow to 13 feet, the Mirandas’ visitor would have had to eat 200 pounds of food over five years, according to the Nature Conservancy, which launched a “Python Patrol” to monitor the foreign snake’s invasion of the local landscape.