Colder weather could help bring out Burmese python hiding in Manatee Co. neighborhood

5 cats missing in neighborhood where python is at
Posted at 4:23 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 16:23:50-04

At least five cats are now missing in a Parrish neighborhood where wildlife officials believe a Burmese python may be hiding. 

An outdoor surveillance camera captured the image of the eight to 10 foot snake and two cats in the same picture.

Helen Borman sent ABC Action News the photo that shows the feral cats that frequent her backyard daily, that are now missing. 

RELATED: Search underway for possible Burmese python

On top of the three feral cats that are missing, a neighbor nearby posted information about a missing cat named Koa. 

Justin Matthews with Matthews Wildlife Rescue spent Wednesday hunting for the python in the marshy areas around the Ancient Oaks neighborhood where numerous people have reported sightings. 

Matthews said Wednesday was the first cold front to come through the area -- meaning the snake will likely be forced into the sun to warm up. 

He explains looking for the python is like looking for a needle in a haystack as the residential area has 24 lakes, lots of marshes and canals. 

Matthews said that a snake this size can travel up to ten miles away from it's original location, including through water. 

Although Burmese pythons are not venomous, they are dangerous and are able to constrict their prey -- including pets and alligators.

There is also a cold front expected Thursday morning -- so Matthews said the best way to catch the snake is for neighbors to keep an eye out for a snake curled up -- and call him or the FWC immediately. 

You can reach Matthews Wildlife Rescue at (941) 822-3272 or you can Report incidents online to the FWC by calling 888-404-FWCC.