Sebastian woman hospitalized after 'pet' python bites her

— A woman was hospitalized Thursday after her 12-foot-long albino Burmese python bit her on the hand, according to Sebastian police and Indian River County Animal Control.

The victim, identified Friday as Kim Bradford, told authorities she had been the caretaker of the snake named Banana for about a year, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Joy Hill said. Bradford was bitten by Banana on her hand at her home in the 400 block of Tulip Drive Thursday.

Animal Control officers went into the home Thursday to retrieve and euthanize the snake, named Banana, after the noontime 911 call. Bradford told police she was trying to feed the reptile some poultry when it bit her hand and constricted around her arm, police spokesman Officer Steve Marcinik said.

Her husband took her to Sebastian River Medical Center for treatment, police said.

FWC officials are investigating whether the nonvenomous python, which was euthanized by Indian River County Animal Control, was registered with the state. As of Friday, Hill said they had found no registration.

Bradford was hospitalized Thursday, but there was no information available about her condition. She could not be reached for comment.

The snake is not venomous, but can grow as long as 16 feet. Burmese pythons are listed as a “conditional” reptile by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which has prohibited personal ownership of the snakes as of July 1. Pythons have become problematic because a large number of captive pythons have been released into the wild and made their way to the Everglades. There, they have reproduced prolifically, and have become an invasive species.

Burmese pythons are listed as a “conditional” reptile by FWC, which prohibited personal ownership of the snakes as of July 1. However, anyone who had a Burmese python licensed by the state prior to that date is permitted to keep it.

One year ago, an albino Burmese python killed a 2-year-old Sumter County girl, FWC said.

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