ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. – You've heard about snakes on a plane, but what about snakes in your neighborhood?
A massive, 10-foot-long, 75-pound boa constrictor was captured by a deputy in a St. Lucie County, Florida, neighborhood with help from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Agriculture Deputy Clay Mangrum helped wrangle the slithery suspect from the Tall Pines neighborhood on Oct. 28.
Mangrum said he is well-acclimated around snakes, but this was the first time removing a boa.
"I was able to gain control of the snake by grabbing it behind its head," he said. "I then pulled it from where it was hiding and gained some control of its body. Other deputies on scene assisted by holding the snake bag."
Deputies received a 911 call after the snake was spotted on the side of a modular trailer in between some bends in the actual trailer.
Mangrum said he knew it was a large snake but didn't realize how big it was.
"Living and growing up in South Florida, I have been around snakes my whole life. I used to have snakes when I was a kid, as well," he said. "I have never handled large constrictors and have never handled a snake near the size of this boa before. It was an exciting experience, for sure."
When deputies like Mangrum are called in about a snake in a populated neighborhood, they will respond and verify whether it is an immediate threat or nuisance. In this case, it was a very large non-indigenous red tail boa.
"I advised deputies on scene that I was en route to attempt to capture and identify the snake. Once on scene, I realized what I was dealing with and just kind of jumped head first into the situation," he said.
The snake is now being cared for at Chandler's Wild Life in St. Lucie's County.
The boa constrictor is native to Central and South America, where they occasionally reach a length of 13 feet but are more typically around 8 feet long, the FWC said.
Floridians can report nonnative snakes by calling the FWC’s Exotic Species Reporting Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (483-4681). You can also click here for information about reporting sightings.
Also, if people have a nonnative pet they can no longer care for, the FWC’s Exotic Pet Amnesty Program can help connect them with pre-approved, qualified adopters.