Missouri man kills nearly 15 foot python after several pets go missing

WARREN COUNTY, MO (KTRK) -- A resident of a Missouri neighborhood killed a 15-foot-long, 160-pound Burmese Python that had been terrifying the neighborhood for days.

KTVI-TV reports that man shot the snake about 2:30am Tuesday in a rural area of Warren County, about 50 miles west of St. Louis. Neighbors believe the snake was responsible for the deaths of at least two dogs and other small animals.

Residents said they felt they had no choice but to kill the snake.

Early Tuesday, Pauline Horstdaniel was awakened by her barking dog and saw the python.

"I was terrified," Horstdaniel told KTVI. "I got my husband out of bed. He's out there in his underwear with his gun."

When the couple realized their handgun might not be enough, they called her father-in-law. He rushed over and killed the snake with two blasts from his shotgun.

"You only see snakes like this in the movies and at the zoo," Horstdaniel said.

Burmese pythons aren't native to Missouri, but they can be purchased as exotic pets. A Missouri Department of Conservation official says owners have been known to dump them outdoors when they get too big.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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