If Old McDonald had a farm in South Florida, he probably would not have invited the slithery guest that invaded a Miami-Dade pasture over the weekend.
A massive, 11-foot Burmese python was found Saturday setting up shop underneath a trailer by Miami-Dade firefighters, who were forced to leap into action before the reptile got away.
It took four men to grab hold of the cold-blooded killer and pull it from under the trailer, officials said.
The owner of the farm, located near the Everglades at 223rd Avenue and 264th Street, told firefighters that several of his chickens and goats had disappeared in recent weeks. Even the family cat had gone missing, officials said.
Chances are the animals ended up in the belly of the beast, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said.
"This was a wild-born 11-foot Burmese python that came in from the Everglades," Lt. Scott Mullin of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom One unit.
The story actually ends well for both the farmer and the unwelcome reptile. Firefighters will keep the snake as part of an public education program to talk about invasive exotic species and to teach people how to properly catch a Burmese python.
The Burmese python has made itself quite at home in the Everglades, where it has almost supplanted the American alligator as the top predator.
Wildlife officials believe the reptiles got in the wild after being released by pet owners who didn't want to care for the animals or abandoned them after they grew too large.
Local politicians have taken up the crusade against the Burmese python in hopes of stopping people from importing the animals to sell as pets.