Search underway for possible Burmese python in Manatee County

Posted at 4:43 PM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-17 17:21:50-04

An outdoor surveillance camera captured what appears to be a Burmese python, one of the largest snakes in the world, in a Manatee County neighborhood. 

Helen Borman tells ABC Action News that her camera caught a snake curled up in her Ancient Oaks neighborhood in the past few weeks. 

Borman says she didn't check her surveillance camera for almost three weeks, and was shocked to see the possible snake recently. 

Borman reached out to friends who agreed it appeared to be a large snake, so she reached out to Justin Matthews with Matthews Wildlife Rescue. 

Matthews said it appears the snake is a Burmese python that he estimates is at least eight feet. 

Burmese pythons are known to be in the Florida Everglades but according to Florida's Fish and Wildlife if they are spotted outside of South Florida they are believed to be escaped or released pets. 

Matthews has been searching for the python since last week when he received the call. 

He explains it's 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. 

As of now, the snake will likely be spotted at dusk as the temperatures are still too high during the day.

However, Matthews said as soon as we see our first cold front we can expect the snake to come into a residential area to warm up.

He's asking anyone who sees the snake, or a possible sighting to call him or authorities so they can locate it. 

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

You can reach Matthews Wildlife Rescue at (941) 812-1771 or by clicking here.