9-foot anaconda found in Central Florida neighborhood

Neighbor uses shovel to hold snake down

Courtesy: Leisa Rembsberg
Courtesy: Leisa Rembsberg

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Leisa Remsberg let her two dogs out Monday morning to do what dogs do.

Gizmo, a shih tzu, and Teddy, half poodle, half shih tzu, dashed to the side yard on Woodbury Road to sniff out a large, shiny dark object.

"I wasn't thinking what it was, because it was so large," Remsberg, who trailed behind her dogs, told News 6 partner Florida Today.

A 9-foot green anaconda reared its reptilian head, veering toward the two tiny pooches and doing what snakes do.

"It raised its head up like it ... like snapping at them ... like lurching at them to make them back off," Remsberg said. "I started screaming for the dogs right away."

Teddy hurried back into the house. Gizmo was still curious, brave or something else.

"He's the not-so-smart one," Remsberg said.

Remsberg dialed 911.

"I did not know what it was," she said. "I knew it was not good. I was just screaming, 'There's just this huge, huge snake!'"

Her neighbor thought it was a python.

He brought a shovel over to hold the snake down and placed it in a container with a lid and a piece of concrete over the top to keep it trapped inside. He then took the snake to his yard and waited for officers to arrive.

Brevard County Animal Services secured the snake, handing it over to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

FWC officers took the snake to a veterinary facility, which euthanized the snake.

FWC officers are trying to determine where the snake came from, said Greg Workman, spokesman for the FWC.

They did not find the legally required microchip in the snake, he said.

"Basically, it wasn't there legally," Workman said. "They're a top predator. They get huge. They can really decimate an area."

It's the second anaconda to pop up in Brevard in the past few months.

In late November, state wildlife officers shot and killed a 9-foot green anaconda near the St. Johns River at the Brevard-Orange county line.

Green anacondas are native to South America and can grow to more than 500 pounds and 20 feet long. In Florida, the snake poses a risk to native wildlife.

Remsberg, a real estate agent at SunCoast Real Estate Group, is living in the Woodbury Road home temporarily, awaiting completion of a new home.

The snake's removal was a relief, especially to Gizmo, Teddy and the four chihuahuas next door.

"It was definitely crazy," Remsberg said.