Reptile educator says Python found in Biloxi was likely just a pet

Reptile educator says Python found in Biloxi was likely just a pet
As of Tuesday afternoon, a dead yellow Burmese python that was found dumped on Brady Dr. in Biloxi, is still there, causing concern for residents. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - As of Tuesday afternoon, a dead yellow Burmese python that was found dumped on Brady Dr. in Biloxi, is still there, causing concern for residents. Biloxi resident Linda Carlisle wants the dead snake picked up off her street as soon as possible.

"There was even a towel left with it," Carlisle said. "Whoever dumped that snake knew what they were doing."

Carlisle said she called Animal Control last week to come get it.

"There are kids that live up the street. I wouldn't want those kids messing with or playing around with the snake. I know it's dead, been there for days, but you never know what it could carry."

Fears and concerns like Carlisle's have prompted some to wonder if there could be other Burmese Pythons found in the wild of South Mississippi. But reptile educator Terry Vandeventer with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science said he believes this was an isolated incident.

"In Florida, they were released when Hurricane Andrew hit a breeding facility and destroyed it, releasing the snakes," Vandeventer said. "They bred, radiated out, and covered more area."

Vandeventer said despite some concern that a wild Burmese Python population could exist here in South Mississippi, we're simply far too north. He cites a study that helped prove the spread of the wild Burmese Python population was halted by the cooler climate away from the southern tip of Florida.

"Some scientists actually built an outdoor enclosure for Burmese Pythons and put them in there, and they put in an underground refuge where they could go under the ground to escape the cold. All of the Burmese Pythons in the study died in Savannah, GA," Vandeventer explained.

Vandeventer added that he firmly believes the snake found in Biloxi was a pet that escaped from a cage and was killed.

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