Python Killing Neighborhood Cats

Homeowners who have dangerous wild pythons slithering around their houses may be stuck with them. While the state is cracking down on wild pythons and, for the first time, allowing hunters to kill the snakes in the Everglades, a Port Orange family is having trouble getting someone to get the python near their house.

The family knows of nine cats that have disappeared from their home or neighbors’ homes in the last 18 months. 

The problem is, a python isn’t something you can go and whack on the head with a shovel and be done; even experts don’t want to go near it without getting paid. 

Boas and pythons are popular pets when they’re behind glass. In the wild, though, they’re deadly. 

“We don’t have squirrels. I’m out of cats. And I’m not getting any more. That would be irresponsible,” resident Stephanie Klein said. 

Stephanie and her husband couldn’t figure out why animals were disappearing from their Port Orange home. Then, last fall, a tree cutter clearing land stepped on what he described as a 12-foot Burmese python in their backyard. 

If it was a dog, animal control would get it. If it was a bear, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission would help out. But a python? 

“They basically said no. They have no idea. They have no reliable method for trapping them,” Stephanie said. 

Even though pythons are being hunted in the Everglades, some wildlife nuisance companies quoted the Kleins thousands of dollars to hunt the snake down. Reptile experts say there’s no other option. 

“It could take days to find this animal and then it might not even be there,” expert Steven D’Errico said. 

D’Errico said two to three men would need to go after it and very few people are trained to do that. With no cheap answer, the Kleins are just being more careful now with their pets and are convinced the snake is still there. 

“They’re not viable options. You’re not going to find a snake just lying in your backyard. He’s out there somewhere,” Stephanie said. 

Port Orange police said, if the snake was spotted and contained, they could help out, but they would still have to call a trained trapper as they do with gators and wild pigs.

One Response to “Python Killing Neighborhood Cats”

  1. Why are people still allowing their cats to live outdoors? They are a nuisance to their neighbors, and they harm wildlife such as birds and rabbits…not to mention it’s dangerous for the cats: cars, fox, and, apparently, snakes.

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