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Large exotic snakes are often
kept as pets. Many of these pet
owners are responsible and keep
their pets in secure cages and
irresponsible pet owners snkes
get loose or worse, let them go
once they realize they can't take
care of them.
of these snakes can reach lengths
up to 20ft in length or more.
Snakes this size can be dangerous
for small pets or even people
if approached or harrassed.
you see one on your property give
The Trapper Guy a call and we
will come out and remove it for
you are a Python, Boa Constrictor
or Anaconda owner who can no longer
keep your snake please call us
and we will pick it up for you
for free as long
as it is a non-native snake and
today to have your Python problems
boa constrictor blocking St. Petersburg
By Jamal Thalji, Times staff writer
In Print: Friday, July 17, 2009
ST. PETERSBURG — They're
Nung Bedell spotted
the invader blocking his drive home
Saturday night on Brighton Bay Boulevard
NE. It was 8 to 10 feet long, known
to strangle its prey, eat small animals
and make headlines.
It was a boa constrictor,
a non-native species of giant snake
let loose on the state's ecology by
irresponsible pet owners. This one was
the length of the southbound lane, and
in no rush to go anywhere.
State officials say
the entire species isn't going anywhere.
Florida already has thousands of such
boa constrictors and pythons and more
are breeding. It's not just the Everglades'
"That's what blows
me away," Bedell said. "We
think this is just an Everglades issue?
We're talking about St. Pete."
Bedell called the St.
Petersburg Police Department. That led
to a standoff: man vs. reptile.
"I kind of jokingly
said shoot it," Bedell said. "But
I really wanted the officer to shoot
Surrounded by four officers
trying to corral it, the dormant snake
suddenly jolted to life and slithered
off into mangroves.
Bedell, a 38-year-old
engineer, knows the snakes have become
a big ,writhing mess in Florida. He
pointed to the July 1 death of a 2-year-old
Sumter County girl strangled by an 81/2-foot
pet Burmese python that got loose.
Scott Hardin, exotic
species coordinator for the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,
said that incident could explain why
the giant snake was seen in an urban
"Dollars to doughnuts
someone has dumped a pet because of
all the publicity surrounding the unfortunate
events in Sumter County," he said.
The St. Petersburg officers
had tried to call Pinellas County Animal
Services, Bedell said, but couldn't
get any help. Animal services said it
doesn't have a record of that request.
Animal services can
only do so much with a snake that big.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission said it needs to get the
call whenever a snake longer than 8
feet is found.
"Your average person
does not want to go ahead and deal with
snakes that size, especially not dangerous
ones," Hardin said. "It's
not for people who don't know what they're
doing or the faint of heart."
Try telling that to
Bedell. He's already gotten some pointers
from a professional trapper.
This town isn't big
enough for the both of them.
"I really don't
like snakes," he said. "I'm
determined to go out there and hunt
this thing down."
Jamal Thalji can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727)
Got giant snakes?
Call the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission's
Lakeland office at (863) 648-3200 for
help during the day. Pasco County Animal
Services can help with some snakes at
(727) 582-2600. If you find one at night
and it's an emergency (say, it's in
your house) call your local law enforcement
agency for help.