COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - Firefighters encounter life-threatening situations while on the job. But, one firefighter encountered a potentially deadly situation in Collier County where crews are battling wildfires.
A firefighter with Greater Naples Fire Rescue was patrolling the wildfire and came across a Burmese python.
The firefighter managed to snap a photo of the python.
Burmese pythons are one of the largest snakes in the world. Most Burmese pythons found in Florida are between 6 and 8 feet long. The largest one captured in Florida measured more than 17 feet long, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The snakes are semi-aquatic and are native to India, lower China, the Malay Peninsula and some East Indies islands. They are excellent climbers and are constrictors, meaning they kill their prey by squeezing them.
Burmese pythons are popular as pets and are now considered an invasive species in Florida. Pet owners sometimes illegally release the snakes into the wild when they no longer want to care for them.
A population of Burmese pythons lives in the Florida Everglades. Some have been found in Naples, which may indicate the snakes are moving northwest, according to the FWC.
Burmese pythons are no longer allowed to be acquired as a pet, according to the FWC.