Thrift shop owners in northeastern Australia got a fright Monday when they discovered a 19-foot, 37-pound python snaking along the wall of their charity store, the Associated Press reports.
Queensland police suspect the reptile slithered in through the roof of the St. Vincent de Paul store, fell through the ceiling, and knocked down some merchandise before relieving itself and leaving a pool of slimy “vomit-like liquid” that turned out to be urine and feces, according to the Cairns Post.
“Its head was the size of a small dog,” Police Sgt. Don Auld told the Associated Press. Before the snake was spotted along the wall, police had first thought a nauseous burglar had raided the shop, but no merchandise was found to be stolen. The Cairns Post notes, “police chose not to handcuff the culprit for logistical reasons.” A local snake-catcher scooped up the giant snake and let it loose in nearby wetlands.
Queensland isn’t the only place battling pesky pythons. A tour guide in Florida’s Everglades bravely tackled a 10-foot Burmese python in front of a group of tourists. There are an estimated 150,000 Burmese pythons throughout the Sunshine State – many of which are pets abandoned by their owners. In fact, the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission held its first-ever Python Challenge this year to raise awareness about the invasive species. Winners of the $1,000 First Place Prize nabbed snakes that measured 14 feet, 3 inches, and 10 feet, 6.8 inches.
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