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A 13-foot python was hit and killed in Manatee County

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Stay calm leads the list. Here is what the experts say people should do when they encounter the snake in South Florida.
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Stay calm leads the list. Here is what the experts say people should do when they encounter the snake in South Florida.

A 13-foot python was found after it was run over on Mosaic-owned property, ending a week-long search by a local man who contracts with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to hunt pythons.

FWC public information coordinator Melody Kilborn said a python was hit by a vehicle and killed near Wingate Road in Manatee County.

FWC is now in possession of the 13-foot, 9-inch python.

Bill Booth contracts with FWC as part of their python program. He typically hunts the large snakes in the Everglades, and has for years.

“Up here, you just don’t generally have a population of those snakes,” Booth said.

Booth said he received a call from FWC that there had been a report of a python sighting on Mosaic’s property. He went to the property, positioned between Duette Road and State Road 64, on Nov. 29 and began looking for the animal.

For nearly a week, Booth returned, still searching.

It wasn’t until Monday that the snake was found. Booth said that’s when the snake was hit and killed by the vehicle on Wingate Road. He went out to the scene and the python was turned over to FWC.

Bill Booth python 2.jpg
Bill Booth, provided photo

A necropsy will be performed.

The snake was hit just about 50 yards from it was reportedly spotted the first time, Booth said, leading him to believe it could have been someone’s pet.

The South Florida Water Management District this week launched the state’s first ever team of paid hunters to track invasive Burmese pythons in South Florida.

It’s not the first python found in Manatee County.

In November 2017, a couple found a dead 9.5-foot Burmese python on U.S. 41 near Port Manatee. They took the snake’s body back to their Ruskin home, where FWC took possession of it.

Kilborn said these are the only two Burmese pythons that have been verified in Manatee County in the last five years. Both were dead after being hit by vehicles.

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