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Fla. residents wrangle 12-foot python hiding under grill

Posted at 1:39 AM, Jul 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-07 01:39:03-04

FLORIDA CITY, Fla. -- A wild 12-foot python that slithered into a South Florida neighborhood Friday had residents buzzing -- and working together to get rid of the unwanted visitor.

"When I was with my dad and when I seen it! I jumped off my bike and ran. I was scared. I never seen that before," Juan Rivero Jr. said.

The massive snake quickly became the talk of the town.

"I seen something in the middle of the road and I thought it was a palm frond,” Juan Rivero Sr. said.  “When I looked and got closer and swerved the bike out-of-the-way and the kids were freaking out. There was a 12-foot-python crossing the road."

Daryl Brooks, who lives in the neighborhood and has kept a python as a pet, was even caught off guard by the snake.

"My daughter said, ‘There's a snake come to the gate,’… I look and it's on the lady's porch and it was huge and I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s a python.’ And the head was bigger than my hand."

Shocked but not scared, Brooks tried to take matters into her own hands, but the reptile was just too much for her to handle alone.

"I was scared to grab her by myself,” Brooks said. “She was pretty strong so there was a guy coming out and I said, ‘Hey are you scared of snakes?’ And he said, ‘No.’”

By that time, Brooks said when the man came over to help her with the snake, the reptile had slithered under a barbecue grill.

While they wrangled the reptile, others dialed 911, but it took at least a half hour before first responders reached the scene.

"We managed to get it in the barbecue, the cover of the barbecue, the owner of the house brought us a pillow case and eventually the tail just went in the pillow case so we had to use the barbecue cover to get it in," Rivero Sr. said.

News of the reptile eviction had residents and pet owners breathing easier.

"I wouldn't want my pet coming out seeing that cause usually pets see it and try to run after it start barking. There was a cat outside and it was going for the cat, so the lady was freaking out so she brings it inside," Rivero Jr. said.

Authorities said the python was not someone's pet. It came from the wild.