CORAL GABLES, Florida (WFOR) — It may not have set a new record, but a giant Burmese python found slithering outside of a Coral Gables home shook up residents just the same.
Alicia Perez Carillo and her family spotted the giant snake outside their home near San Souci Drive and Ingraham Highway on Thursday, January 7.
Carillo says at first sight, the reptile appeared to be getting some sun on a chilly day.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says in cooler weather, people are more likely to encounter pythons as they sun themselves trying to get warm.
After spotting the unwanted visitor, Carillo’s husband stood on the balcony of the home to track the python’s movement while also tracking down an agency to help remove it.
They were extremely concerned about the snake because they have kids who enjoy playing outside.
The Carillo’s called 311, private animal removal companies and The City of Coral Gables, but no one would remove the giant snake. Eventually, they were connected with FWC. Within 20 minutes, FWC arrived and removed the python.
The family said they wish they had known FWC had a python removal hotline.
So if you see a python where it doesn’t belong, call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (483-4681).
The FWC also says if you are comfortable doing so, you can humanely kill pythons. Pythons can be humanely killed on private lands at any time with landowner permission, no permit required.
Burmese pythons were first discovered in the Everglades nearly two decades ago.
It’s believed they became established in Florida as a result of escaped or released pets and they are causing serious harm to the fragile Everglades ecosystem by eating native wildlife such as possum, rabbits, deer, bobcats, and other indigenous wildlife.
They’ve been successful at reproducing in the swampy Everglades because they have no predators.
Scientists estimate there are between 100,000 and 300,000 pythons in the Everglades.
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