A six-foot Burmese python was captured near a popular Miami Beach pedestrian mall on Wednesday.
Customers leaving Exprezo noticed the snake lounging beneath a palm tree.
‘I figured, well, come on, how big can it be?’ the store’s owner Indika Wanigarathne told the Miami Herald. ‘When I saw how huge it was, I freaked out. So did everybody else.’
Miami Beach police were called, but two male officers were too afraid to go near it.
It was a female officer named Traci Sierra who finally captured the snake.
A python was found outside an Exprezo convenience store in Miami Beach on Wednesday
Officer Traci Sierra put on some gloves to capture the snake and put it in a cooler so it could be taken to a wildlife refuge
The shop’s owner Indika Wanigarathne said that the male officers who responded to the call were too afraid to go near the python
‘She was a genius. She didn’t panic. She put on gloves and picked up the python with her hands and put it in a little cooler.
‘The guys gathered around were screaming but she was calm,’ she said.
Police Chief Daniel J. Oates tweeted ‘suspect apprehended!’ with photos of the capture.
The python, which may have been an escaped pet, will be turned over to a wildlife refuge, according to a police spokesman.
Police Chief Daniel J. Oates tweeted photos of the capture with the caption: ‘suspect apprehended!’
Pythons have replaced alligators as the Everglades top predator as they invade the marsh and decimate native wildlife.
The South Florida Water Management District is paying trappers by the hour and the foot.
They’ve bagged 500 snakes in five months – including a 16-foot, 10-inch monster.
Along with the Everglades, they’ve been spotted in Key Largo, in Homestead, near Kendale Lakes.
In efforts to control the population, the state hired snake trackers from the Irula tribe in India.
The trackers hunted down 33 snakes in a month.