CAPE CORAL, Fla. (WFLA) — A Cape Coral couple had just returned home from vacation when they were frightened to find a python lurking in the darkness near their garage Monday night.
“And it scared us,” homeowner Kevin Monroe said.
Monroe told NBC Affiliate WBBH that he and his wife had gone to throw something away outside when a “very long shadow” stopped them in their tracks.
That’s when it dawned on them – a huge Burmese python was lying right in their driveway.
“We estimated it to be about 9 feet long,” he told the local station. “Somewhat coiled, and her head was near the garage trash can and near the door. I’ve never seen a snake that big other than at a zoo.”
Monroe said they weren’t sure what to do, so they called anyone and everyone to try and help get rid of the invasive python.
“They said that they had no recent sightings within the past couple of years,” Monroe said.
After calling around, Monroe and his wife were out of luck as no one could come to help them Monday night. So, the couple and their neighbors decided to come up with a solution of their own.
Monroe told WBBH that it took a couple of hours for him and his neighbors to get ahold of the snake, saying the slithering suspect used its strength to fight back.
“Its mouth was as big as probably my hand opening,” Monroe said.
With the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission unable to render aid that night, Monroe and his two neighbors humanely killed the Burmese python.
“That is what the game commissioner told us to do,” he said.
WBBH said wildlife officers recorded the sighting.
“Not terribly surprising that we are going to start to see more of these pythons in these areas,” FGCU wildlife biology assistant professor Andrew Durso told WBBH.
The massive pythons are primarily found in and around the Everglades, but Durso added Cape Coral residents have been spotting these invasive species more than ever.
“They don’t travel in packs of any kind. They are not really social animals,” Durso said.
If you see a Burmese python, take a photo, note your location, and immediately report the sighting to the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-483-4681.