MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Maybe this Burmese python learned a lesson from the one that tried to eat an alligator but exploded because its prey was so big. This snake apparently took on an animal that never stood a chance — Frances, a 1-year-old Siamese cat.
Frances vanished last week from his owner's home, but his whereabouts were possibly revealed Sunday. A snake expert says Frances is the bulge inside the 12-foot-long Burmese python.
"Poor baby. He was my favorite cat. I know Siamese (cats) are supposed to be distant, but he slept in my bed and everything," said a distraught Elidia Rodriguez, the cat's owner.
The snake was captured and taken to a nature preserve, where it will live in a glass cage.
Earlier this month, a 13-foot python had a run-in with a 6-foot American alligator in Everglades National Park, and neither animal survived. The python blew up as it tried to swallow that alligator.
Capt. Al Cruz of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue antivenin unit said Sunday's case can likely be blamed on the recent rains.
The snakes "are looking for dry land," he said.
Many pythons, which are native to Asia and not Florida, end up in the wild after being abandoned by their owners once they grow too big to handle.
No one saw how Frances, named after one of last year's hurricanes, apparently ended up in the python's grip. Rodriguez learned of the monster snake lurking just five feet from the backyard by chance on Sunday.
A man whose stolen car was abandoned in the woods behind Rodriguez's home came by to look for his wallet in the vehicle. He found the snake instead and ran over to Rodriguez, who called 911.
It took about 10 minutes for Cruz and two other rescue workers to trap the brown-and-black snake in a king-size pillowcase.
"He was very aggressive," Cruz said. "He didn't want to be bothered."