It’s the thing of nightmares or horror movies. A 12-foot pet Burmese python excaped from a terrarium and strangled a two year old girl in her bedroom Wednesday in a central Florida home. The snake belonged to the mothers boyfriend. He discovered the snake missing from the terrarium and went to the little girl’s bedroom where he found the snake wrapped around the girl and bite marks on the girl’s head. He stabbed the snake several times until he was able to pry the snake away.
A caller from the house screamed to the 911 operator: "The baby’s dead! Our stupid snake got out in the middle of the night and strangled the baby." When the paramedics arrived about 10:00 a.m. the baby was already dead. Authorities removed the snake, still alive, from the home Wednesday afternoon.
The Humane Society of the United States said including this death, at least 12 people have been killed in the U.S. by pet pythons since 1980, including five children. This situation is only going to get worse. Scientists estimate that at least 150,000 Burmese pythons exist in the Florida Everglades. These snakes are not native to Florida but they easily survive in the state and can reach a length of 26 feet and weigh more than 200 pounds. At least one is known to have killed a large alligator and then burst when it tried to swallow the alligator.
What is really frightening is that these Burmese pythons are capable of surviving and reproducing in at least 12 southern states including Mississippi.