TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Three Jacksonville sheriff’s deputies visiting Collier County will have a story of “hisssstoric proportions” to share after they helped catch a massive invasive snake while they were away from home.
According to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, deputies from both agencies were called late Wednesday to an East Naples neighborhood after a resident reported seeing a 14-foot-long invasive Burmese python in the bushes between two homes.
After the group wrangled the snake, which are known to grow to up to 17 feet long, one of the Jacksonville deputies humanely euthanized it.
In the post, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said the non-native pythons have established a breeding population in South Florida and are known to eat imperiled species such as wood storks, Key Largo woodrats, and limpkins, as well as large animals including alligators, white-tailed deer, and bobcats.
The snakes are also known to compete with native predators for food, habitat, and space.
“The Jacksonville deputies won’t be going home with new snakeskin bands for their western-style hats,” authorities noted. “Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission removed the carcass for disposal.”
The Jacksonville deputies have been assisting authorities in Collier County with hurricane recovery efforts.