Dog Alerts Father and Son to Burmese Python Slithering on Back Porch

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Paul and Ben Hernandez were awoken by their dog Alaska who was barking on their back porch in Marietta, Georgia.

She spotted something on her bed, which was later determined to be a Burmese python.

"I hear my dog barking, and I went outside and there was something black on her bed that she usually sleeps on and she was barking at it," Paul told CBS46. "She looked like she was trying to, not eat it, but she looked like she wouldn't leave it alone."

After shining a flashlight on Alaska's bed, Paul found the snake but he didn't recognize what type of snake it was.

The news outlet reported that Paul and his father, Ben, both went outside at about 7 a.m., where they found that the snake slithered into a chair on their back porch. Ben immediately knew what type of snake they were dealing with.

"When I saw her I knew she was a Burmese python because I have seen them on TV shows," Ben told CBS46.

According to National Geographic, Burmese pythons have a "generally docile disposition." They are native to Southeast Asia and are one of the largest snakes on Earth with the capability of growing 23 feet or more in length and weighing up to 200 pounds. Its girth, National Geographic reported, may be as big as a telephone pole. The python kills by constriction.

Burmese Python
A Burmese python is held by a representative with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation. A father and son in Georgia found a Burmese python on their back porch. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

However, as the magazine points out, Burmese pythons are frequently released into the wild. So many of the non-native pythons have been released specifically in South Florida that they've established a breeding population in Everglades National Park, as noted by the United States Geological Survey.

"Pythons compete with native wildlife for food, which includes mammals, birds and other reptiles," the USGS wrote. "Severe mammal declines in Everglades National Park have been linked to Burmese pythons."

The agency continued and wrote Burmese pythons' stomachs, when removed from the national park and other areas in Florida, contained the mammals whose population decreased the most significantly.

Newsweek reported in August about a snake removal challenge that took place in Florida. Participants were encouraged to find and humanely destroy Burmese pythons. A total of 223 of these pythons were hunted.

The Hernandezes called animal control, and a representative told the two that the python on their porch was likely a pet that escaped from its home.

"He said that it was probably somebody's pet the way she acted when he grabbed it," Ben told CBS46. "She was not aggressive at all, so she's used to people."

The snake was taken to a nearby facility where officials worked on tracking down the owner.

Newsweek has reached out to animal services but did not hear back by press time.