Giant Albino Burmese Python 'As Thick As Your Thigh' Captured After Being Found on Woman's Doorstep

A 16-foot-long albino Burmese python was captured in Australia this week, with a veteran snake catcher saying it was one of the largest serpents he had ever encountered.

Reptile expert Tony Harrison captured the huge animal Monday after it slithered onto the doorstep of a woman living in Oxenford, a suburb of Gold Coast in Queensland. He said it weighed approximately 80 kgs (176 pounds) and was likely imported into the country illegally.

The snake, an invasive species in Australia, appeared to have a missing tail. Images shared to Facebook by Harrison showed that it had injuries on its body.

"This poor little old lady answered the front door of her house and there's this snake sitting on her doorstep," the snake catcher, whose business covers Gold Coast and Brisbane, told ABC. "I'd say that somebody's just had it for a pet for years and it's just pushed its way out of its enclosure."

Harrison wrote on Facebook: "Can I just say WOW!!! A huge albino Burmese python! How damn beautiful is this snake?! It's such a shame that they are illegal here in Australia." He told ABC: "Snakes can eat three times their girth, and this snake is as thick as your thigh."

Harrison conceded it was upsetting that the animal had to be euthanized, but warned in a video that it could have done serious damage to the country's native ecosystem. If left to roam free, he said the snake could have spread disease while posing a danger to native species, pets and wildlife.

He explained: "If there was anything that could possibly be done to save this snake's life I would do it. But... that is just adding to the mess up of our ecosystem.

"It introduces diseases, if they escape those animals compete with our existing native animals for food and it really upsets the ecosystem. This particular snake, not only will it compete, it will eat people's dogs and cats, literally, that would eat a Staffy [Staffordshire Bull Terrier]. So, it is a threat," he added.

Harrison said a zoo would be unlikely to take the breed of Burmese python partly due to its scrappy appearance, but also because it may carry disease and they already have others in captivity.

The catcher elaborated: "I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that would want to keep it in their collection, because it's such a big, impressive, animal. But it's a risk to our ecosystem. There's not a lot we can do. Although it's really frigging sad, it's for the greater good.

"We do it for a reason, and if we were to let things slide, and we let animals from other countries live here? We can't even manage our own frigging humans without introducing diseases, so how are we going to do it with snakes? It's really really sad, but it's life. It's the way it goes."

In a statement, a Biosecurity Queensland spokesperson told ABC: "Burmese pythons are powerful animals, capable of inflicting severe bites and/or causing death by constriction,"

"The Burmese python is well known to be highly invasive, particularly in Florida, where a large number of pythons can now be found in the Florida Everglades. Due to their size, many escape or are released into the wild, and become invasive species that devastate the environment."

The current fine for keeping a prohibited reptile like the python is A$133,450 ($77,000), local media reported. The owner of this particular snake remains unknown at the time of writing.

In Florida, the snake is an invasive species and considered a threat to native wildlife, found around the Everglades, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The hard copy of the capture of Burmese python from oxenford

Posted by Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher on Sunday, March 22, 2020