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Woman Who Finds Python Doesn’t Need Morning Coffee

August 26, 1987

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) _ After Becky Lambert woke up to find an 8-foot python slithering outside her porch door, she didn’t need her usual morning eye-opener.

″I didn’t need any coffee,″ Mrs. Lambert said.

Pythons trap their prey by squeezing them until they suffocate, then swallowing them. Mrs. Lambert’s husband, worried about the safety of the family cats, ran around their yard Tuesday to keep the felines away from the python.

″So that’s what was going on,″ said neighbor Ron Hall. ″I was pouring some morning coffee myself when I saw him in his shorts chasing something around the yard.″

Pythons, indigenous to more tropical regions, have been bred in captivity in Florida and sold as pets, according to Animal Control Officer Judy Billings, who captured the snake.

″There are no recent reports of an escaped python I know of, but it looked real well-cared for as if it recently got away from an owner,″ she said.

The python will remain at the Humane Society of South Brevard for five days. If no one claims it or wants it for a pet, it will be destroyed.

″It’s not poisonous but it is a bit more aggressive than a boa constrictor and has teeth, so it can bite,″ said Animal Control Director Xan Rawls.

Mrs. Lambert ″probably thought she had been invaded by a subtropical reptile. If you go to get your morning coffee, look outside and see it, I imagine it’s pretty scary.″

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