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  • Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

    South Florida media is all over herp stories like stink on you-know-what. Here's the latest. My guess is that laws are already being discussed, in Miami-Dade county if not statewide.

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...home-headlines
    Loose python devours 18-pound Siamese cat near Miami-Dade home

    http://[img]http://adserver.trb.com/....gif[/img]
    By Alva James-Johnson
    Staff Writer

    October 10, 2005



    It had only been two days since Elidia Rodríguez had seen her Siamese cat, Francis. So when a Burmese python showed up Sunday in a wooded area behind her house in northwest Miami-Dade, the 66-year-old woman thought nothing of it.

    That was until her son, Andres, noticed a peculiar bulge in the python's belly.

    "I'm sure there's a cat in there," he said later.

    It's the latest python incident in South Florida, where exotic snakes are proliferating and swallowing pets and other creatures whole. A 13-foot python recently gulped down a 6-foot alligator until its stomach ruptured, alarming public officials and citizens. And for residents like Rodríguez, Sunday's incident heightened concern.

    On Sunday morning, Rodríguez was walking her dogs when she encountered the snake, which was 10 to 12 feet long, her son said.

    He said his mother called him to the scene because he had caught snakes on the property before. He said he was trying to capture it when he noticed the bulge. That's when he decided to call 911. The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue anti-venom unit arrived and bagged the python about 11 a.m.

    "It was a pretty good size animal, and it wasn't friendly, either," said Capt. Al Cruz.

    He said when he tried to grab the python, it tried several times to bite him. He said the snake had several rows of about 100 teeth and could have inflicted a significant wound.

    "I figured it hasn't been a pet snake for some time now, especially with the temperament that it had," he said

    Cruz said the bulge in the python's stomach was about 15 to 16 inches, and he suspected it was the 18-pound cat.

    "It was a full-size pet," he said. "I even felt the legs in the stomach."

    He said the python was taken to A.D. Barnes Park in Miami, where it is on exhibit.

    Andres Rodríguez said the cat was about a year old, and his mother had received it from a friend. When he told her that he thought the python had eaten her pet, he said, her eyes welled with tears.

    He was still trying to decide how to break the news to his 6-year-old daughter, Nicole, who lives in Tampa. He said she had become close to the animal,and would be heartbroken.

    Cruz said the anti-venom unit sees about three to four pythons a year roaming the streets of Miami-Dade County. He said they could be found from Miami Beach to Cutler Ridge.

    "They are pets that people have that get away, or people release them," he said. He said a reptile 10 to 12 feet long can kill an adult or child through strangulation, but most won't unless they're confronted.

    "The big problem is probably with small pets," he said.

    Rodríguez said he caught a python behind the house five years ago and kept it in a cage, but it eventually died. He said the family has other pets, and he fears a python could strike again. "These things, I think, should be completely outlawed," he said.

    Staff Writer Jeremy Milarsky and news partner WTVJ-Ch. 6 contributed to this report.

    Alva James-Johnson can be reached at [email protected] or 954-356-4523.

    Copyright © 2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

  • #2
    Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

    Thats all I can do. Frowning is my face today.

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    • #3
      Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

      it scares me that this whole burm thing has gotten as much news as it has, I don't think there is much chance that we're going to come away from this without a few more restrictive laws

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

        I believe this is going to be the straw. Notice the cat's owner calls for a law in the article. I figure the reporters are scrambling to be the first to mention it to senators, mayors, and the like. Noboby will dare say that kitty wasn't critical to civilization.

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        • #5
          Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

          she should have kept her darn cat indoors anyway. I sure hope her cat was nutured or spayed. Since there is a over population of cats and dogs reproducing on the streets.

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          • #6
            Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

            Originally posted by SSreptiles
            she should have kept her darn cat indoors anyway. I sure hope her cat was nutured or spayed. Since there is a over population of cats and dogs reproducing on the streets.
            Cats are the biggest threat to native wildlife in the country but nobody is going to mention that. Cats have too may fans, they're untouchable. Snakes on the other hand.........

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            • #7
              Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

              I won't say I told you so, but I did!

              I wrote a thread a few weeks ago called "The future", from the looks of it the future banning of reptiles may be here a lot sooner than I predicted! Next in the news, someone's child found with a Giant snake!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

                Here's the same story from another paper:

                Python devours family's house cat
                A missing Siamese cat apparently was the snake's last meal
                BY CARLI TEPROFF AND LUISA YANEZ
                [email protected]

                Like any cat, Frances, a 1-year-old Siamese named after the hurricane, had a simple daily routine.

                He slept, ate and enjoyed hunting lizards in the woods behind his owner's home.

                Two days ago, Frances vanished.

                His whereabouts possibly were revealed Sunday. A snake expert says Frances is the bulge inside a 12-foot-long Burmese python that trapped and swallowed the 15-pound cat whole, just feet from its backyard in Miami Gardens.

                ''We've been looking for him,'' a distraught Elidia Rodriguez, 66, said of her cat.

                The snake was captured and taken to a nature preserve.

                This marks the second time this month that a python in Miami-Dade has tangled with another animal with deadly results. Earlier, a 13-foot python had a run-in with an American alligator in Everglades National Park, and neither animal survived.

                Why all the aggressive and free-moving pythons all of a sudden?

                Capt. Al Cruz of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue antivenin unit said Sunday's case can likely be blamed on the recent rains.

                ''They are looking for dry land,'' said Cruz, who explained that climate changes affect pythons' life patterns.

                Many pythons end up in the wild after being abandoned by their owners once they grow too big to handle; others are escapees.

                How Frances, a gift to Rodriguez after last year's Hurricane Frances, apparently ended up in the python's grip no one saw.

                But a missing animal and a bulge in the gut of a nearby snake makes for an easy equation.

                A cat would have been no match for the python, much like last month's alligator.

                Cruz said most pythons are made of pure muscle and are fierce predators. He said the strength of the nonvenomous python can kill a human.

                Pythons strangle their prey before they eat it, Cruz said. They then dislocate their jaw to swallow it.

                ''A python's jaw is like a rubber band,'' he said. In this case, he estimated the python's girth at about 15 inches.

                The cat might have walked right into the snake's striking zone, Cruz said.

                ''Unfortunately, it had no chance of surviving,'' he said.

                Rodriguez, who lives in the 20900 block of Northwest 39th Avenue with her husband, Andres, two sons, three dogs and four remaining cats, said Frances failed to show up for breakfast Saturday.

                ''My husband thought he was in love. Poor baby. He was my favorite cat. I know Siamese [cats] are supposed to be distant, but he slept in my bed and everything,'' Elidia Rodriguez said.

                The Rodriguezes learned of France's possible fate, and the monster snake lurking just five feet from the backyard, by chance on Sunday.

                A man whose stolen car was abandoned in the woods behind Rodriguez's home came by Sunday to scour the grounds, hoping to find the wallet taken with the car.

                ''He came running over and said there was a really big snake over there,'' Elidia Rodriguez said. She called 911 and was referred to Miami-Dade animal control. Cruz, who usually answers calls for snake bites, arrived at about noon and found the snake coiled in the thick brush. Cruz said in order to get close, the brush had to be cut, which angered the python.

                ''He was very aggressive,'' said Cruz, who noted that it was obvious from the bulge in its stomach that the snake had eaten an animal. Snakes become sluggish when full. ``He didn't want to be bothered.''

                Cruz explained that it takes about a month for a snake to digest its prey.

                It took about 10 minutes for two Miami-Dade Fire Rescue workers and Cruz to trap the brown-and-black snake in a king-size pillowcase.

                ''That thing was huge,'' Cruz said, estimating it weighed about 80 pounds.

                The snake was placed in the back of a police car and driven to the Sense of Wonder Nature Center at A.D. Barnes National Park at 3401 SW 72nd Ave. It will not be destroyed.

                When the snake arrived at its new home, Cruz and Lt. Charles Seifert let it slither around on the ground in front of the center in a last taste of freedom. The python now will spend its days in a glass cage in the nature center.

                ''It is a matter of public safety,'' Cruz said.

                Back in Miami Gardens, Rodriguez still clings to hope that Frances will walk through the door and that the mysterious bulge was another animal.

                ``I still would like to know for sure that it's him in the snake's stomach.''

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

                  This will be horrible when there are people who can't even own pets with fur and they went with reptiles. Now that will be taken from them too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

                    Just wait until the TV news gets a hold of this, they will strike fear into everyone in thinking a giant snake is going to pop up from behind the bushes and eat our kids!

                    People will panic and start petitions against keeping such snakes in FL.
                    Laws will be passed and depending on the severity, the laws will be enforced to a certain degree from not at all to removing your pets from your homes if they know you are keeping them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

                      Originally posted by ssscales
                      Just wait until the TV news gets a hold of this, they will strike fear into everyone in thinking a giant snake is going to pop up from behind the bushes and eat our kids!

                      People will panic and start petitions against keeping such snakes in FL.
                      Laws will be passed and depending on the severity, the laws will be enforced to a certain degree from not at all to removing your pets from your homes if they know you are keeping them.
                      Don't need to wait, was the headliner on every station at 11 last night and also this morning.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

                        A few words....
                        Guns kill people Like Spoons made Rosie O'Donald Fat!


                        sorry, I needed to say something stupid.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

                          I hate being right!

                          What we need is for someone in the public or some herp group to stand up and speak on behalf of the herp community.

                          Basically I think they should speak on the positives of keeping herps and point out that the majority care for their pets. That the majority of hepers agree 100% there should be regulations on selling/buying these Giant snakes such as Burmese, Rock Pythons and Anacondas along with venomous snakes and large monitor lizards. Regulations meaning you need a license and some sort of permit to own one along with other restrictions such as tracking devices, etc.


                          I know some people don't agree with this, but I'd prefer the option of getting a permit to own a Burmese if this is what I wanted rather than the state telling me I can't own it…period! It's also good to keep the sellers and impulse buyers down to a minimum. Yes, there will be backdoor deals as with everything, but hopefully the prices will go up on these snakes and that will deter a % of buyers or redirect them to other manageable snakes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

                            Originally posted by ssscales
                            I hate being right!

                            What we need is for someone in the public or some herp group to stand up and speak on behalf of the herp community.
                            Great ideas but who can/will stand up against a little girl and her kitty? Our politicians are only after votes, little girls are a much better thing to champion. Just wait for the follow-up story when daddy tells the little girl a snake ate her cat...........

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Burm eats cat- last straw before laws?

                              Unfortunately more people fear and hate snakes than guns. How many guns and hunting licenses are issued a year compared to new snake owners? We're a small group, this is why someone walking into a pet shop with a dog or cat or parot is no big deal, but walk in with an 8ft snake and notice the reactions!

                              Someone walking a dog or a cat, again no big deal. Walk a 9ft snake in a public area and notice the reaction, some may be attracted (mainly kids), but the majory will move away in fear or hatred. And news like this only add fuel to a burning blaze.

                              The only place I take my snakes these days is to the vet when needed and I keep them in a dark Rubbermaid container only to be taken out on the vets table. I don't take my snakes out in the front of my house any more, the only outside they see is my backyard.

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