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On Christmas, one South Florida family encountered an unwelcomed guest in their pool and it wasn't a jolly guy with a big white beard.
Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue captured a 13-foot Burmese python in the swimming hole of one Palmetto Bay home. Visit NBCMiami for the full story.
Burmese pythons are classic headline-makers in South Florida. In 2005, one exploded after trying to eat a six-foot alligator whole. And last October, a Burmese python became a celebrity for having a whole 76-pound deer in its belly.
But those two serpentine incidents occurred out in the Everglades. Finding a ravenous constrictor snake in a suburban pool is a different story.
Just yesterday, the New York Times reported that Florida democrats and republications are asking the Feds to "ban the importation and interstate trade of these snakes." Among all the legless, nonnative species, the one found yesterday in the Palmetto Bay pool is especially problematic:
The snakes, particularly the large and powerful Burmese python, have proliferated in the Everglades, a trend that began in the 1980s but worsened after Hurricane Andrew destroyed several reptile houses in 1992. There are thousands of them in South Florida, although precise numbers are elusive. Today, the snakes are often sold by pet stores or online. They typically make it into the wild when they escape their homes or when owners release them because they can no longer care for them.
With Burmese pythons showing up in neighborhood pools, it may seem like their population is booming. But as the New York Times reports, last year's unusually cold winter did much to thin out an otherwise out-of-control fanged plague.
So what happened to the Christmas python caught taking a dip? WSVN 7 reports that it was taken to a farm down south in Homestead.
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