Florida is home to quite a few strange and scary creatures, but rarely does a 75-pound boa constrictor make its way into a residential area.
On October 28, locals in the Tall Pines neighborhood alerted St. Lucie County authorities that there was a slithery visitor slinking through the grass. Likely, when the call reached Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they may have suspected finding a rattler or cottonmouth coiled up behind a rock. But instead, a giant, 10-foot boa constrictor awaited the officers. Among the responding personnel was Agriculture Deputy Clay Mangrum. In the past, Magrum has handled quite a few types of snakes but never had he encountered a boa on a call.
Despite the first-time experience, the agricultural officer showed no hesitation in removing the non-indigenous red tail boa constrictor. Knowing the constrictor’s lethality comes from its crushing strength rather than its bite, Mangrum and his team had to quickly snatch the massive, 75-pound serpent before it tried to coil around its captors.
“I was able to gain control of the snake by grabbing it behind its head,” he said. “I then pulled it from where it was hiding and gained some control of its body. Other deputies on scene assisted by holding the snake bag.”
Boa Constrictor Had Hidden Itself Along the Side of a Trailer Home
According to Mangrum, someone had spotted the snake making its way across the side of a modular trailer. The boa constrictor had actually worked its way into some of the bends of the structure, concealing part of its body. It wasn’t until the officer completely removed the boa from its hiding place that he realized just how large it was.
“Living and growing up in South Florida, I have been around snakes my whole life. I used to have snakes when I was a kid, as well,” Mangrum said. “I have never handled large constrictors and have never handled a snake near the size of this boa before. It was an exciting experience, for sure.”
Judging from the photos, the boa constrictor recently indulged in a big meal. In one of the shots that St. Lucie County police shared, Mangrum positioned one hand just behind the boa’s head and another lower on its belly. Both reptile and human seem completely calm about the relocation effort.
“I advised deputies on scene that I was en route to attempt to capture and identify the snake. Once on scene, I realized what I was dealing with and just kind of jumped head first into the situation,” Mangrum said.
Officials transported the boa to Chandler’s Wild Life where caretakers are currently looking after it.
It’s not clear where the boa constrictor came from. Though, in most cases with exotic pets, the snake likely escaped or the owner improperly released it into the wild.