Burmese python collared by Pembroke Pines cop
About two hours after sunset Thursday, an off-duty U.S. Customs & Border Protection officer saw the invasive snake as it moved east from the Everglades across U.S. 27 in far western Pembroke Pines. It was headed toward the Chapel Trail residential development near Johnson Street, police spokeswoman Amanda Conwell said.
Pembroke Pines Police Officer Joey Cabrera, 29, was first to answer the call for help and wrangled the reptile until backup arrived.
“They originally thought it may have been hit by a car, but it showed no sign of injury and was moving quite rapidly when trying to get away from Officer Cabrera,” police spokeswoman Amanda Conwell said Friday. “It may not have caused an accident if someone hit it, but anyone swerving to avoid it could have crashed.”
Cabrera grabbed hold of the tan and black snake that was the length of two tall men. He put the python in his patrol car for a trip to a police substation, where it was kept until a licensed snake trapper took custody of it and euthanized it, police said. But not before Officers Anthony Pagano, Tim Kincanon, and Jordan Forsythe joined Cabrera for a group photo with the wiggling reptile.
Cabrera joined the force in 2010. Thursday night’s python capture was not his first.
“He enjoys working with snakes and other wildlife, so he is happy to assist,” Conwell said.
Pembroke Pines police reminded the public that pythons pose a threat to local wildlife, pets and children.
Snakes of many types are common in Florida, can be avoided and should be ignored, police said.
But Burmese pythons are not native to Florida. Because they grow to such lengths, are strong and constrict their prey, they are a risk to wildlife, pets and children. Pythons and other non-native species may be reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s hotline at 1-888-483-4681.