8-foot python startles man and dog in Florida garage

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) — An 8-foot (2 meters) python slithered into a Florida garage, startling an unsuspecting homeowner who was taking his dog for a walk.

Joseph Liscinsky tells the Sun Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2rOPfD2 ) that he quickly put his 14-pound (6 kilograms) dog back inside his Pembroke Pines house after spotting the snake Friday morning.

Liscinsky says the python bit his fingers as he wrestled with it before wildlife officials arrived.

Pythons are not venomous, but they have a sharp bite. The snakes are an invasive species in Florida, where they are blamed for decimating populations of native mammals.

Liscinsky says he worries pythons could use a nearby canal to travel from the wetlands in the suburbs.

He says wildlife officials planned to euthanize the snake.

Just last month Florida turned to the public’s help in getting a handle on the species that has taken over the south.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is now turning to the public. Cool prizes are being offered for the removal of pythons. It’s called the Python Pickup Program and anyone can submit pythons for a reward.

According to the FWC, all you have to do is submit proof euthanizing with a picture of the python as well as a GPS unit clearly showing the date and location of the capture. The pictures can be emailed to Pythons@MyFWC.com with Python Pickup in the subject line. In the email be sure to include your name, phone number, mailing address, date of capture and GPS location.

Photo: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

If you’re a Python Removal Permit holder, the FWC says you can turn in live pythons. Be sure to check out the FWC website for more information on where pythons can be caught and methods of removal.

After your first proof of capture you will receive a T-shirt, then for each proof of python submitted you will earn one entry into the monthly prize drawing as well as the grand prize drawing. The monthly drawings will occur on the last Friday of each month and two-three raffle tickets will be drawn.