What to do if you come across large python in So Fla

Animal expert Ron Magill at Zoo Miami discusses python population


MIAMI – The 13-foot python that was captured in a shed in Hialeah may have come as a shock to neighbors, but South Florida has a large python population.

Animal expert Ron Magill at Zoo Miami spoke with Local 10 on Tuesday with what South Floridians need to know if anyone comes across one.

"Just go the other way," said Magill. "There's no such thing as a python that's as fast as a human being."

Florida was once alligator country, but the kings of the Everglades are now pythons.

An escaped python is believed to have been behind the deaths of two boys at at an apartment in Canada. It is believed the reptile escaped from its enclosure at a pet store in New Brunswick and made its way through a ventilation system and into a neighboring apartment where two brothers -- ages five and seven -- were found dead.

Four years ago, a 2-year-old Florida girl died after being strangled by a pet python that escaped from its aquarium and attacked her in her crib.

"Hopefully, you see it before it sees you," said Magill.

But is it time for parents in South Florida to worry?

"The possibility is there. This is not a totally sensationalized thing," said Magill. "A big python is not going to decipher between a small child and a mammal."

Florida has no laws against having pythons as pets, as long as one has a permit.

It's estimated that thousands of pythons live in the Florida Everglades.