PSA: If you pick up a wild snake, prepare to be bitten multiple times. Something tells us this is not the first time Nick “The Wrangler” Bishop has had python fangs in his face… Youch.
If the sight of blood pouring from a young man’s face isn’t your cup of tea, you might want to turn back now. The subject of today’s python encounter is just that. If your first thought, however, was “this must’ve happened in Florida…” – then you’re absolutely in the right place.
In the footage shared by Daily Mail, self-professed LA “reptile enthusiast” Nick Bishop, 32, films himself while fetching a wild Burmese python in the Everglades National Park, Florida. Handling the snake bare without a hook or tongs, Bishop – who refers to himself as “The Wrangler” – struggles with the 3-foot specimen as it displays multiple signs of aggression.
“He’s munching on me,” the Los Angeles-native tells viewers after a rowdy, frantic intro with the reptile. Referring to the python as a “naughty little snake,” Bishop continues to let his phone film as the animal lashes out in defense.
That is, until the Burmese lands a hard bite with both fangs right in Bishop’s face. It’s a heavy strike, one that obviously leaves him stunned as the snake recoils. Though blood begins pouring down his face, Bishop is very lucky: the python’s inch-long fangs barely miss the white of his right eye:
Amateur Handler Details Close Call with Python
“Well we call that a love bite,” Bishop says as he smiles off the attack. Yet there’s no love in a Burmese python attempting to ward off what it sees as a massive predator.
“I captured the snake as fast as I could and pulled my camera out and then wham, that’s when it happened. I was bit,” Daily Mail quotes of the 32-year-old and his encounter with a small specimen from a dangerously destructive invasive species.
“That sucker got me good and it almost took my eye out,” Bishop continues. “I knew it was going to strike, that’s what they do. I just had no clue it was targeting my face until it was too late. Usually, I don’t film myself and this is a prime reason why. Accidents like this happen but I’m lucky though. It could have been a whole lot worse,” he says of his python encounter.
“The biggest misconception of snakes is that they attack and chase people when in reality, every time I have ever been bitten it was because it was being defensive,” he cites, missing the irony in his own statement.
“Snakes don’t want to use their precious energy on humans,” he adds. “They need that energy to hunt and to survive… That’s why it’s my goal to help bring some understanding about the animals that I love.”
A noble cause, certainly. It is a cause, however, that is best left to the professionals. Approaching and handling wild snakes, whether venomous or not, is always extremely dangerous.
The Burmese Invasion
These enormous constrictor snakes are no natives to Florida – not even this continent. Popular as pets, Burmese pythons have been kept in homes across the U.S. for decades now. And as any python owner can tell you – they are master escape artists.
Experts now believe that the massive invasive population in the Florida Everglades is the direct result of escaped and/or illegally released pet Burmese pythons. To make matters worse, the Everglades house no predators willing to take down a python. The warm, lush, and wet ecosystem, too, is a perfect fit for their own hunting and nesting habits. Combine all this – and you have the perfect storm for an absolutely destructive, monstrous invasive species.
The snakes were first discovered breeding in Florida nearly two decades ago. Since then, scientists estimate their numbers may have reached 100,000 to 300,000 wild pythons in the Everglades.
As a result, Florida has a bounty program for the species – and it’s a proven hit. More than 5,000 Burmese pythons have been removed from the wild since the bounties began in 2017.