Loose Burmese python in Doral worries residents, city hires trappers
MIAMI - Doral residents are worried about a massive snake on the loose in their city. One spoke on camera about his frightful encounter.
"Walking around the lake, and was like, where is the snake?" said Juan Ramirez when he saw the snake emerge from the lake outside his home. "And then I saw the snake and went like, wow!"
Ramirez encountered what's believed by experts to be a Burmese python. He joked with our reporter Joe Gorchow, saying, "Normally, you're worried about a bite, not being eaten alive when you see a snake."
Neighborhood security at Barbados in Doral alerted residents it was in the area. Ramirez went to see if that was true last Thursday, December 1st.
"My wife and kids walk the dog around the lake," said Ramirez. "I wanted to see what was there."
Ramirez found something he was not hoping to see. He jumped and quickly snapped a quick photo. He admitted he was scared. His photo revealed a gigantic snake in the lake off NW 114th Ave.
"I took a picture and started running that way," Ramirez said with a smile.
He went running, and so did we, to an expert to find out what he saw.
"99.9% sure it's a Burmese python," said Ron Magill, the communications director at the Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens. "I can't see the head, but I can see the body and the pattern."
He identified the snake from a viral video of the snake digesting what neighbors said was a duck.
The average length of a Burmese python is between 8-14 feet. Neighbors worry about this python on the loose in Doral.
A giant snake, possibly a different one neighbors suggested, was also spotted Friday night near the Trails and Tails Dog Park.
"It's something that doesn't happen every day," said Ramirez. "So, nobody knows what to do."
Doral police posted a message for people not to approach the snake if they see it. They say to call 911 or Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hotline.
Magill shares tips to keep you safe with a giant menace in town.
"They blend in with their environment very well," explained Magill. "Stay away from high patches of grass and thickets of grass. Stay on sidewalks, low-cut grass, and areas where you have a clear sight of view around. And do not let your pets roam free."
And the fact one's in Doral does not necessarily surprise Magill.
"People have the misconception they must be out in the Everglades," added Magill. "They're far away. These pythons can thrive anywhere they can find food. They're a very adaptive snake."
It's undoubtedly a frightful thought. Magill says there's no need to panic.
Police tell CBS4 they hired three trappers to capture the snake in Doral, with no luck finding one.