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Why do people keep an 8 foot python as a pet?
A pet Burmese python measuring more than 8 feet long broke out of a terrarium and strangled a 2-year-old girl in her bedroom Wednesday at a central Florida home, authorities said. Shaiunna Hare was already dead when paramedics arrived at about 10 a.m., Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.
Charles Jason Darnell, the snake’s owner and the boyfriend of Shaiunna’s mother, discovered the snake missing from its terrarium and went to the girl’s room, where he found it on the girl and bite marks on her head, Caruthers said. Darnell, 32, stabbed the snake until he was able to pry the child away.
Authorities removed the snake from the home Wednesday afternoon after obtaining a search warrant. Once outside the small, tan home, bordered by cow pastures, the snake was placed in a bag then inside a dog crate. The snake was still alive.
Burmese pythons are not native to Florida, but they easily survive in the state and can reach a length of 26 feet and weigh more than 200 pounds.
The Humane Society of the United States said including Wednesday’s death, at least 12 people have been killed in the U.S. by pet pythons since 1980, including five children.
So far no charges have been filed.