Stunning Video Shows ‘Menacing’ 40-Pound Boa Constrictor Snake Captured

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department (MDFR) recently shared a stunning video of one of its officers handling a large boa constrictor in a residential neighborhood.

The video posted to Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday shows Lieutenant Christopher Pecori from the department’s Venom One response unit using a tarp to wrap up and capture the 8 foot, 40 pound red-tailed boa constrictor.

The snake, an invasive species native to Central and South America, was “menacing” a group of peafowl when it was captured and removed from the residential area. The animal was “endorsed over to Florida Fish and Wildlife authorities for further processing,” according to the MDFR in its Instagram post.

“On Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 12:09 p.m., Lt. Christopher Pecori from the Venom One Response team encountered an invasive red-tailed boa constrictor in the middle of a roadway in Palmetto Bay,” the department’s Instagram post stated. “A distress call had alerted MDFR about a sizable python on the road that was menacing a group of peafowl, showcasing the danger they pose to local wildlife. The Venom One Response officer promptly headed to the scene and recognized the formidable serpent as an invasive red tail boa constrictor, measuring about eight feet in length and weighing around 40 pounds. Skillfully capturing the snake, the officer safely secured it in a large tarp.”

Newsweek reached out to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for additional comments on the capture.

Boa constrictors are not illegal to own in Florida despite their invasive species status.

In their native range, red-tailed boas can reach lengths of up to 13 feet, although they rarely exceed 8 feet, according to the FWC.

Red-tailed boas are common in the pet trade. However, because numerous pet snakes have escaped or been released the boas have been able to establish stable populations in Miami-Dade County since the 1970s. Boa constrictors can decimate populations of small native vertebrates, and also outcompete other predators for food, impacting local ecosystems.

According to the Florida Museum of History, boa constrictors may bite to defend themselves. Larger ones have large, sharp teeth, and their bites can cause severe lacerations. They are also capable of eating dogs and cats.

In Florida, boa constrictors have been found in diverse habitats, including residential neighborhoods. The snakes may be found on the ground or in trees. Boa constrictors are nocturnal and usually remain well hidden in dense vegetation or burrows during the day to avoid detection, according to the Florida Museum of History.

In April, a police officer in Clearwater, Florida, removed a 5 foot boa constrictor from a local business. In footage of the incident, shared to Facebook by the Clearwater Police Department, the officer can be seen coaxing the snake out from behind the window bars in the business’ storeroom.

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This article by Gabe Whisnant was first published by Newsweek on 17 December 2023. Lead Image: The patterned Columbian red-tailed boa constrictor, found in South America, is seen. The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department (MDFR) recently shared a stunning video of one of its officers handling a large boa constrictor in a residential neighborhood. AFP/GETTY IMAGES.

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