VERO BEACH, Fla. – A 16-foot-long Burmese python (search) was captured on a city street after a passing motorist spotted about three feet of it hanging over a curb and called police.
The brown-and-yellow snake was wrestled into a body bag and taken to the home of Bruce Dangerfield, an officer with Vero Beach Animal Control (search).
"This is a very irresponsible owner to let something loose like this," he said Thursday of the late Wednesday capture. "Either it escaped all snakes are escape artists or someone let it loose."
Dangerfield said he has picked up dozens of loose Burmese pythons and boa constrictors over the years, but this was the biggest.
Dangerfield said the responsibilities that come with owning giant reptile become too much for some people. Within a few years, a 20-inch hatchling bought for $100 at a pet store will become a rabbit-munching giant.
Dangerfield told the Press Journal of Vero Beach that he wanted to publicize the danger snakes pose to other pets, people, and native wildlife when they get loose.
"Some people should just watch Animal Channel or something, not own one," he said.
The snake will likely be euthanized if its owner doesn't come forward, said Ilke Daniel of the Humane Society (search).
"There is such overpopulation, no zoo wants them," she said.