× When Snakes Had Use for a Pair of Legs
Eric Weiss was wrestling snakes in Mexico 25 years ago, when he stepped on one and it injured his foot.
That snake was a Burmese python, the longest land-and-sea snake in North America, and Weiss — a hunter and trapper — kept it in his home to deal with his problem with snakes.
Burmese pythons are dangerous, venomous snakes that will eat a deer or any living creature (except some birds) with ease.
“They don’t care how much meat you put into their mouths,” Weiss says. “If you try to kill them with a spear, a poisoned arrow, a glass of water — they could eat you.”
Weiss kept the python in his home for about a year, and at some point lost it. But it was just a matter of time before the python came back.
The day he put his feet on it again, the python bit his foot, and he quickly figured out the python would bite him if he moved.
It happened once again, but this time, it wasn’t Weiss’s foot but his arm, Weiss says.
He was hanging upside down trying to catch snakes on his boat in Lake Havasu with his fiancée when he stepped on a pythons tail and it bit him. This time, the bite wasn’t a nightmare, and he had to be taken to the hospital to be treated.
At the hospital, Weiss’ doctors discovered he’d ripped a ligament in his left arm and had some arthritis. “I still had lots of snakes in my home,” Weiss says.
But now, the 37-year-old has something else to deal with. He got his foot amputated last year.
Now he’s got a “bionic” foot, a prosthetic limb that uses three different prosthetics to balance a pulley system that stretches in the water and pulls his feet up.
Wearing the sandals at the boardwalk, Weiss says the prosthetic feels like his old legs.
“I am like a superhero with my own legs,” Weiss says.