A 7ft python looking for a ride snuck onto a sailboat in the Florida Keys and ended up staying on board until the boat reached the other side of the state, the report said. police.
The crew found the huge snake in the boat’s shower after docking at Marco Island on Friday. Marco Island police responded quickly and transferred the invasive snake to the care of a local wildlife handler, according to a news release.
The police department released multiple photos of a uniformed officer smiling wildly on the boat with the python wrapped multiple times around his arm.
Pythons believed to descend from pets released from captivity in recent decades are now ravaging native species in parts of South Florida and invading the Everglades. Pythons, which can reach 20 feet (6.1 meters) and 200 pounds (90 kilograms), devour native populations of mammals and birds.
The US Geological Survey says there’s no evidence of pythons swimming from the Everglades to the Keys, but they haven’t completely ruled it out.
“Because pythons regularly escape or are released from captivity, it can be difficult to determine whether a snake encountered in the Keys arrived there by swimming from the mainland or was a former captive pet on the island,” the agency said. “Given the python’s apparent ability to disperse via salt water, however, islanders and resource managers should remain vigilant.”