Baby-Killing Python Slated to Help Train Army Rangers

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Law enforcement officials remove a 12-foot long albino Burmese python from the home where it killed 2-year-old Shaunnia Hare in Oxford, Florida on July 1, 2009. (Photo: Tom Benitez / Orlando Sentinel / Getty Images)

Do you find this unsettling?

A python that killed a 2-year-old Florida girl in 2009 will now be used in training at Eglin Air Force Base. The 8-foot, 6-inch python, named Gypsy, has lived at the Camp Rudder snake house since shortly after the incident. The albino Burmese python now will be used in swamp training at ranger camp…

It seems the snake, a pet of the girl’s mother and her boyfriend, “slid into her crib and constricted her” near Orlando. A Florida court sentenced the couple to 12 years’ imprisonment last week following charges of manslaughter and child neglect. Eglin’s swampy areas are used in the third and final phase of U.S. Army Ranger training. “Leadership skills are taxed when conducting small unit operations in a simulated combat environment by the daily challenges students encounter including severe weather, swampy terrain, periods of hunger, mental and physical fatigue, as well as emotional stress,” its website notes.

The state held onto the snake since Shaianna Rosa Hare’s death “because it was evidence in the case,” a Florida wildlife officer explains. “There isn’t any reason to destroy it just because the case is over, so we worked with Eglin, and they are using it for training purposes.”