POSTED: Monday, November 2, 2009 - 9:25am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:59pm
Cristina Rangel has a lot on her mind these days. At eight months pregnant, the Vero Beach, Florida resident is about to welcome a new member to her family.
But what happened Monday night nearly sent her into early labor. She was out walking with her mother when she spotted something sitting in the grass at the corner. It was a 9-and-a-half foot Burmese python.
"When I saw the snake, I forget the pain," Rangel said with a laugh. "I was so scared, I saw the snake and forgot the pain." Professional snake handlers and the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County coerced the python into a crate. It didn't have a microchip, so no one knows who it belonged to but it's not the first time a reptile like this as been found slithering in these parts.
"It's not as common as in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County," said Bruce Dangerfield with the Vero Beach Police Department. "But in the last 15 to 20 years, I've gotten 25 to 30 big constrictors." With the governor making a push to rid the Everglades of these non-native nuisances, it's another reminder for future snake owners to think before they buy.
After her close encounter, Cristina had her husband take her to the hospital to make sure everything was o.k., which it was. As for the python, it will be turned over to fish and wildlife officers to try and find it a new home. As for Cristina, she's due November 15th, but after what happened last night, it could be a little sooner.