Firefighters capturing python. (Kaohsiung Fire Bureau photo)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Firefighters captured an invasive 6.5-meter-long Burmese python near a lake in Kaohsiung City on Thursday (Oct. 3).
Thursday afternoon, a Burmese python measuring 6.5 meters (21 feet) in length and weighing 60 kilograms was found slithering through the grass near Chengcing Lake in Kaohsiung City’s Niaosong District, reported UDN. Firefighters who arrived at the scene were reportedly startled by the massive size of the python, which is not endemic to Taiwan.
At 3:55 p.m. on Thursday, a worker was clearing weeds around a drainage ditch next to Wenqian Road and near the rear entrance to the lake. He suddenly spotted the python wriggling in the weeds and immediately notified authorities.
Firefighter struggles to press snake’s head down. (Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau photo)
The fire bureau initially dispatched two men to the scene, but once they realized the enormous size of the creature, they called for backup. Eight firefighters were eventually needed to subdue the snake, reported SET News.
Throughout the process, the agitated python frequently hissed and lunged at the firefighters. Finally, firefighters were able to press the serpent’s head down with a fire hook and then seize it with their bare hands.
Once they had subdued the snake, they then had the conundrum of finding a large enough container to place it in. They eventually borrowed a delivery truck and a large water barrel from the Taiwan Water Corporation and took the snake back to Chengcing Lake Fire Station.
Firefighters drag snake’s head with rope. (Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau photo)
Once the python was at the station, the firefighters decided to have a bit of fun and pose with the snake for a Tetris Challenge photo, which has been all the rage online lately. The photo then quickly spread through a number of police and firefighter social media groups.
Firefighters pose with python. (Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau photo)
Many Taiwanese netizens were terrified by python’s massive size:
“I’m scared to death! It’s too big.”
“The snake in the video looks like it wants to bite people.”
“Mowing the grass and running into a python.”
“It’s only this big because Ah Ma raised it.”
“I’m very curious to see what they plan on doing with that python next.”
Python coiled inside a plastic bin. (Kaohsiung Fire Bureau photo)
UDN cited firefighters as saying that they believe that the snake is a Burmese python and that it weighs 60 kilograms, but China Times has it weighing 100 kilograms. The python is currently being kept at the fire station until the authorities decide what to do with it.