APOPKA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A large Burmese python has been removed from a house in Apopka. Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, along with Orange County Sheriff's deputies, responded to a home at 2242 Section Drive to confiscate the large reptile.
Delilah is a 17 year old massive Burmese Python. “In 15 years, this is the largest Burmese python I’ve ever seen,” says Lt. Jeff Hudson of Fish and Wildlife. He says the agency was called out after concerns from neighbors.
The python measures 18 feet long and 30 inches in circumference and weighs 400 pounds, according to wildlife agents.
"We can not find record of a permit for this snake. It is currently in sub standard caging and we will take it to a permitted facility until all of this is sorted out," said Joy Hill with FWC.
But Melvin Cheever, the owner’s brother, says there’s nothing to be worried about. “She’s no threat at all. She’s, I would be more worried about a cat or a dog in the neighborhood then I would her,” says Cheever.
He says Delilah is well fed and handled all the time and is the most docile snake. “If you handle them regularly and you feed them well, they’re going to not be aggressive.” But he admits the 18 footer has escaped before.
“She snapped a 4 by 4 post that we had, the gate that was attached to it, she wedged herself against the gate post and snapped it down at the base right at ground level.”
Corey Hicks of Critter Control says that’s where the danger comes in. He says communities should be concerned if something like this runs loose.
“Its natural feeding response would kick in and survival instincts would take over meaning it would eat whatever comes in its path. Small dogs, cats and unfortunately children would be on the menu for them as well.”
The Burmese Python will be staying in the Glades in Bushnell until the owner sorts this matter out.
This is the third Burmese python to be confiscated by Central Florida law enforcement in as many days. FWC investigators removed two unlicensed Burmese pythons from a Lakeland home earlier this week. The male python was 11 feet long, while the female was 17 feet long and weighed more than 150 pounds.
Authorities say Michael T. Hall owned the snakes but did not have the required state permit to keep them. Hall was charged with second-degree misdemeanors for not having the required permit and not having a critical incident plan. He also got a warning for not having the animals microchipped. The snakes were taken to a licensed facility.
The commission lists Burmese pythons as reptiles of concern. This requires owners to purchase an annual $100 permit.
Apopka python pushes Nelson to ban snakes
Updated: Tuesday, 15 Sep 2009,
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - On Friday, Florida Fish and Wildlife officers removed an 18-foot python from a home in Apopka.
This event, among other snake incidents in Florida prompted Senator Bill Nelson to propose a ban on owning big snakes. He says that snakes of any sizes can be a concern.
Senator Nelson is co-sponsoring a bill that would ban the importation and interstate trade of pythons. Currently, Florida requires python owners to have permits. Senator Nelson says the bill would also classify pythons as injurious animals.
In February, he filed the legislation to ban the importation of Burmese pythons. Nelson says owners abandon their python pets in the Everglades, which now host 100,000 pythons. The death of a Sumter County two-year-old girl also contributed to Senator Nelsons cause.
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