Nearly a month and a half after a family snapped a picture of a Burmese Python in the water off of Snell Isle, the search for the animal is still ongoing, wildlife experts said Sunday.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said a mother and son were fishing in the bayou near Renaissance Vinoy Golf Course and spotted the snake in late May; other golfers have also reported seeing it.
"I highly presume it was more likely somebody's pet, they released it or it escaped," said Brian Pavlina, an expert who has assisted in the search. "We've been looking for crawls or skins, but [we've found] nothing."
Pavlina said the snake is likely in hiding now, possibly in the sewer or in tall grass near water.
The multiple sightings have left a neighborhood on edge and on the lookout.
"I personally haven't seen it. A couple friends have seen it," said Paul Hardin, who said two searchers came close to catching it. "They saw it in the bushes there and went in after it and came out with nothing but hands full of mud."
Like Hardin, other members of the community are hopeful experts will find the python soon and take it away.
"I think it's a problem. We've got little animals, us, the neighbors next door and the neighbors next door have two little children that play around by the water a lot," said Rube Carlson, adding he has no plans to try to catch it if he sees it. "I'm going to shoot that sucker."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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