Firstly, how does one “discover” a 5-foot apex predator living in their couch? Were there not signs prior to this discovery? The first step in this equation has to be “live in Florida,” but as this story shows – there’s always more to it than that.
“Snakes alive!! Here’s a call you don’t see every day. A resident at Marilyn Pines calls this afternoon because he’s got a snake in his condo and it’s hiding in his couch,” began Clearwater Police Department on their official Facebook page over the weekend.
Clearwater Couch Births Baby: It’s a Boa Constrictor
And as their photos show below, the Florida officers would “carry the couch outside and find the red tail boa deep inside the couch. They then carefully extracted it from its hiding place.”
Again: hiding place? It’s a couch! Did no one use this couch for sitting and think “hey, there might be a giant animal in here!?”
As for the boa itself, “It was easily 5 feet long and was taken to a local pet store after being plucked from the couch.”
Thankfully, there is a sound answer for how this all came to be. According to the precinct, “The man just got the couch the other day and he thinks the snake was hiding in the couch when it came to his house. Officers also carried the couch back in the residence for the man.”
As Clearwater concludes: “It’s a jungle out there sometimes.” Especially when Florida is involved.
Boa Constrictors Are a Huge Part of Florida’s Invasive Species Problem
This latest Florida-meets-giant-snake encounter is, as many Outsiders know, a recurring issue, too. The state continues to battle a horrific invasive species problem. And it all started the same as this tale: with the pet trade.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website states that this constrictor’s species, the red-tailed boa, are “extremely common in the pet trade, and individuals sometimes escape or are released by owners.”
Red-tails are native to Central and South America. The climate and ecosystem of Florida, however, is also suited to their needs. These boas can grow to 8-feet in length, and this suitability allows for many escaped boas to reproduce in the wild in Florida. As a result, the state has an exploding constrictor problem.
In fact, Florida hosts government sanctioned python bounty hunters. They’re responsible for trekking out into the Everglades and beyond to eradicate these deeply harmful invasive species (of which there are boas and pythons a’plenty) to help return the Panhandle to her natural state.