SOUTH MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Something weird was happening down on the farm in The Redland south of Miami. Cats and chickens were missing, and then, a goat disappeared. Then, something long and scaly was spotted slipping under a trailer. That’s when the farmers called Miami-Dade Fire Rescue for help.
The call came in to station 60 Saturday as a large snake under a trailer. Nobody knew how large, but when firefighters arrived they spotted the tail of the snake slipping under the trailer. They grabbed the tail, and called for backup from the county’s snake specialists, the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom One unit.
As luck would have it, the unit was just a few minutes away.
Lt. Scott Mullin knew exactly what his colleagues had. A snake expert, he knew a Burmese Python when he saw one, even if all he saw was the tail. Under his direction, and with the assurance that the snake was not venomous, the firefighters started tugging the powerful reptile.
And tugging. And tugging some more.
Finally, they had the snake out from under the trailer, and what they had was huge. The python measured 11 feet, longer than the average car.
“This was a wild born 11-foot Burmese python that came in from the Everglades,” said Lt. Mullin. Some experts believe the River of Grass is full of the big snakes, the offspring of imported reptiles abandoned or lost by bored or careless owners. The pythons are not native, but the Everglades were virtually designed as a python habitat. They have lots to eat, time to grow, and they grow big.
They’re multiplying like crazy, and some, apparently, have started making the crawl from the Everglades to civilization.
Exit chickens, cats, and goats, and hello one unwelcome guest.
Lieutenant Mullin was impressed by his colleagues’ quick action.
“Tanker 60 went above and beyond,” he said.
The firefighters snapped a picture of the snake to prove the size, and the capture was documented by a crew from the Animal Planet program Swamp Wars, which has been traveling with the Miami-Dade Venom One crew.
The farmer was happy to see the python evicted, and most likely, so were the goats.