The rest of the flock was spared when this quick-thinking owner shot an invasive python as it consumed one of her goats.
A 12-foot Burmese python already had its head wrapped around Rachel Elizabeth Valverde’s goat when she aimed her Glock pistol at the snake.
Valverde lives in Naples, a city that skirts the Florida Everglades, home to the invasive Burmese python. Small mammal populations in Everglades National Park have plummeted since the snakes began taking over, and Valverde wasn’t about to let the rest of her goats become victims.
While the goat in the python’s mouth could not be saved, Valverde was both protecting the rest of her flock as well as the local native wildlife population by making sure the python didn’t get away.
WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing. Read on for a written recap of the video if you prefer not to watch it.
WARNING: This video may be disturbing to some. Rachel Elizabeth Valverde posted this video Friday. She says "12ft Python thought eating one of our goats for dinner was a good idea!" It's unclear where exactly this took place, but Rachel says she lives in the Naples, FL area.
Posted by Channing Frampton WINK on Saturday, June 3, 2017
Valverde first aimed for the head of the snake, instantly causing the animal to unclamp its jaws from around the goat. As constrictors, Burmese pythons kill their prey by asphyxiation. They lack fangs with which to inject venom.
Once the snake released its hold, it tried to slither away despite more shots to the head. Valverde stepped on the python’s tail and aimed again until the animal was lifeless.
When Channing Frampton of WINK News shared Valverde’s video recording of the event, most Facebook commenters supported, even praised, the woman’s actions. Florida natives in particular are all too aware of the destruction these snakes bring to the Everglades biodiversity.
Facebook user Josh Sexton’s comment has nearly 4,000 positive reactions:
“I’m all for not hurting animals and treating them respectfully, but anyone who has raised farm animals can tell you that when a predator enters the flock, its got to go. Unfortunately, when livestock is your livlihood [sic], often the best way to get rid of a predator is to kill it, not wait around for pest control to show up. I would have done the same thing.”
Even snake lovers were also in agreement.
In fact, Floridians are required by law to kill these pythons if they have the means. Monetary rewards are even offered, and annual python hunts create competition for people near and far.
What would you have done in this situation? Tell us in the comments below.
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