*For many years, Florida was my favorite state. Growing up in the Michigan tundra, I couldn’t get enough of Florida’s sunshine, warmth and Walt Disney World. The Miami Dolphins were my favorite football team, and I swore I’d live there someday.
Now, I have relatives and friends who live in Florida. I rarely see them, partially because I can’t handle Florida’s snake issue that I’ve been reading about for years.
This time around, a fisherman who was just doing what fisherman do — fish — ran across a nine foot long green anaconda snake near Orlando. Nine feet long. Freely slithering by the river. Chilling. Sunning his snake ass. (Do snakes have asses??) Waiting to eat. Waiting to eat people that look a lot like you and me.
“It wasn’t skinny,” Derrick Lockhart, a captain at Midway Air Boat Rides, told Clock Orlando. “It was eating, or it was recently dropped off and had something to eat — its farewell meal.”
In case you haven’t figured it out, I am terrified of snakes. Not going to front. Terrified. A year ago, I found a snake skin under the deck of a house I was renting one summer, back in Michigan. I didn’t go out of the back door of that house again until damn near Christmas.
OK, the skin I found was more garden variety garter than green anaconda…but STILL.
If nine feet long isn’t long enough for you, this monster wasn’t fully grown. Green anacondas are a part of the boa constrictor family and can grow more than 29 feet in length, weighing more than 550 pounds. They’re not native to Florida, but rather hail from South America.
Ay, dios mio.
The fisherman who found the snake thought quickly. He immediately called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission. As it turns out, they did their job by conserving several members of indigenous Floridian species while extinguishing this reptilian demon.
“Thanks to the quick reporting by the caller, the officers were able to euthanize the non-native constrictor before it could escape into the water,” FWC posted on its Facebook page along with pictures of the beast. “This incident shows how important it is to report sightings of nonnative wildlife including constrictor snakes like this one.”
So today’s lesson is: if you run up on a nine foot long snake and you live in these United States of America (as POTUS likes to say), either you or the snake has a problem that needs to be addressed very quickly. CALL SOMEBODY — start with 911 — lest you wind up, literally, in the belly of the beast.