Python slithers onto porch of Tampa home

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A couple in Tampa found an unexpected visitor on their porch - a ball python had slithered right up to the front door.

Pythons are not native to Florida, so the large reptile was likely either let go or escaped from someone's home. 

After dinner, Lindsey and her boyfriend found the 3 to 4-foot-long ball python sitting on her front porch. 

Her RING home security system captured their surprise.  

"The poor thing's tail is hurt," the woman said. "Somebody probably got tired of it and let it go."

She immediately wondered what happened to the animal before it reached her front door.

"My first automatic thought was someone just let it go because they don't want to deal with it anymore, or maybe it got bigger than they thought because they didn't look into what they were buying," she said. 

Ball pythons are familiar territory for Lindsey. She grew up with them as a child. 

"I had several. I grew up with my father that had a big python, that he ended up having to get rid of, but he did not set it out in the wild. He found someone to take care of it," she said. 

Her immediate instinct was to take care of her visitor. Lindsey was able to catch the snake and provide a shelter until she found it a permanent home. 

She believes her encounter comes with a message for others. 

"Educate yourself. Do the right thing. Don't think just because it's an animal it survives wherever. When you let them loose and they're invasive they thrive off things. They start taking other animals out of that eco-system that are vital. Just like you see in South Florida like Burmese pythons getting alligators, it's disrupting the eco-system. not only freaking people out," she said.