Off Beat Stories

Sep 12, 2009 12:12 PM by Jamie Smith

Authorities seize Delila, an 18-foot long Burmese Python snake

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials were at a home in Apopka to remove "a very large Burmese python" on Friday afternoon. Officials said it was the biggest snakes they had seen in 15 years -- measuring 18 feet and weighing more than 400 pounds. It is 30 inches around.

The snake's name is Delila. According to officials, the snake was left behind by a previous owner and was being cared for by the current resident -- and was fed four rabbits today.

The neighbor, who called wildlife officials, said the snake regularly got out. When officials arrived, the snake was in a 20-by-15-foot enclosure, which they said was too small for such a large snake. The owner at the home on Section Drive does not appear to have a permit. The snake will be removed from "substandard caging and we will take it to a permitted facility until all of this is sorted out," Hill said.

Burmese pythons are not native to Florida and can grow to more than 20 feet in length and weigh 200 pounds. The species has been in the news recently in Florida, first because of the problem of pythons released into the wild, then because a python strangled a 2-year-old girl in Sumter County in July.

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