Florida Toddler Killed by Pet Python
Snake’s owner facing child endangerment charges.
A two-year-old girl was found dead Wednesday morning (July 1) in her Sumpter County, Florida home after being strangled by a 12-foot pet albino Burmese python.
Deputies said the snake’s owner is the 32 year old boyfriend of the toddler’s mother. He told investigators he had locked the reptile in an aquarium-like container Tuesday night but awoke to find it missing. He found it wrapped around the little girl and noted bite marks on her head. He stabbed the snake with a knife–later reports indicated the animal is dead.
Another child was also in the house at the time along with another snake–a six-foot boa constrictor. Pythons are not native to Florida and require a permit which the owner could not produce. He faces a second degree misdemeanor charge and will likely be charged with child endangerment.
image via wikipedia
Burmese pythons are becoming all too common in the Florida wilds having been released by pet owners who no long wish to keep the reptiles when they become to large. In addition, many of the snakes were freed from exotic pet shops in south Florida during Hurricane Andrew and are flourishing in the Everglades. A spokesman for Sea World in Orlando said pythons are always looking for something to eat and caged pythons are always looking for a way to get out.
Typically, the Burmese python grows no longer than 20 feet however, one at Serpent Safari in Gurnee, Illinois, measures 27 feet and weighs in at 27 feet. They will eat almost anything. It was documented in the Everglades when a large python ate an alligator and literally exploded.
According to the Humane Society, 12 humans have been killed by Burmese pythons since 1980–five of them children. Add one more Florida toddler.