A Long Island woman got the shock of her life after she stepped outside her home and saw what she thought was a garden hose in her driveway — but turned out to be an eight-foot Burmese python, several inches thick.
"I freaked out. I ran into the house and told my husband there was a snake. He thought it was a little snake, and I'm like no dude, it's a big snake," said Frances Hughes.
Hughes said she knocked on neighbors doors, looking for the python's owner. She didn't have any luck — not surprising, given that it's illegal to own a python like the one she saw as a pet in the state of New York, so people likely wouldn't be too willing to come forward. Hughes then called Suffolk County Police, who removed the snake.
"Definitely if you don't know how to approach these animals, don't get close to them. Anything can potentially happen," said Dr. Mariana Pardo, of the Veterinary medical Center of Long Island.
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Hughes said she didn't know how long the python had been hanging around her house, but her rescue cat has been missing for five days. She now fears the worst.
"She didn't show up again this morning. I don't know, I just hope she comes back, I don't if those things eat cats," Hughes said.
Burmese pythons do eat small animals, but the veterinarian caring for the snake doesn't believe the animal has recently been fed. The python will temporarily stay at the vet's office, where it took two people to wrestle the reptile onto the exam table, while the Department of Environment Protection investigates and looks for the owner.
"It's pretty scary though, that type of snake must be someone's pet," Hughes said. "I'm glad it was found and caught, I don't know what's going to happen to it."