Environmental

Giant Burmese Python Captured on Lincoln Road in South Beach

Giant Burmese Python Captured on Lincoln Road in South Beach
Photo by Chris Parker / Flickr
From giant African snails to tegus to peacocks, Florida is crawling with all kinds of things that aren't supposed to be here. Probably none inspires as much fear as the Burmese python, which for years has been ravaging the Everglades and pretty much everything that lives there.

It seems nothing the state dreams up — python-killing contests, singing snake catchers from India — can stop their spread. Case in point: Yesterday patrons of a Lincoln Road convenience store were startled to spot a massive snake lounging under a palm tree.

"I figured, well, come on, how big can it be?" Exprezo owner Indika Wanigarathne told the Miami Herald. "When I saw how huge it was, I freaked out. So did everybody else."

They called police, and Officer Traci Sierra captured the snake in a heroic feat recorded by every smartphone on the scene. "Suspect apprehended!" Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates later tweeted.
The snake, which police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez described as being "between six to eight feet," was turned over to AA Native Wildlife.


An operator at the Miami pest removal company tells New Times the snake might be an escaped pet rather than an invasive creature that found its way to South Beach. The animal has been handed over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Python Patrol.

The operator says calls about snakes are exciting to get because they're somewhat uncommon, but not because the snakes aren't around — just because they're good at hiding.

"We know they're everywhere," she says.
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Brittany Shammas is a former staff writer at Miami New Times. She covered education in Naples before taking a job at the South Florida Sun Sentinel. She joined New Times in 2016.
Contact: Brittany Shammas