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Wildlife trappers showcase the 10-foot Burmese python they captured near Naples

Wildlife catchers in Naples
Posted at 6:13 PM, Jan 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-04 18:13:07-05

NAPLES, Fla — The recent capture of a massive Burmese python in Lely Resort has raised concerns about a growing presence of snakes and reptiles in residential areas of Collier County. Wildlife trapper Seth Brattain, who's a biologist, spoke to Fox 4 about the situation and why snake encounters are happening more often.

Brattain and his team had their hands full when responding to a call about a 60-pound, 10-foot Burmese python at a Lely Resort home in December.

"That Burmese python in the last month was our biggest catch recently," Brattain said.

Approaching the snake wasn't easy. Brattain explained, "As we approached it, it tried to slither off into the water, so we had to jump in with it."

They managed to catch the snake and later killed it. Brattain showed Fox 4 the python's skin on Thursday.

Brattain pointed out that these pythons are a threat to the environment, as they've already caused problems by wiping out raccoons in the Everglades.

"People were terrified because it's a python that can easily harm a human or east a pet," Brattain said. "Now because of the lack of food they are starting to spread out and heading north and heading west"

Brattain runs 24/7 wildlife removal business called SlethReptiles.
He says there's been a significant increase in calls for snake and reptile removals in Collier County.

"Before the two major hurricanes they were only being captured out in Big Cyprus or out in the national parks and then slowly as they did land development they started seeing them in these lots in south Naples," Brattain explained.

And while more business is good for him, Brattain stressed that it's bad for the environment and poses a threat to local wildlife and people. He advised people to be careful and not approach snakes in their yards. If a snake is found inside a home, he suggests calling a professional service.

"If you see a snake and you don't know what it is, just stay away," Brattain warned.