Good news Florida. The land of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, retirees and Casey Anthony will now have one less thing to worry about: Snakes.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has put into effect a rule that bans the “importation and interstate transportation” of four types of constrictor snakes not native to the U.S. which had been terrorizing the Florida Everglades and other areas across the country.
Why? These snakes are bad news for fragile ecosystems like the Everglades, where they can wreak havoc on native species. Essentially, they pretty much eat anything they want.
The unlucky reptiles that now find themselves on the do-not-fly list (closest thing you’ll find to a “Snakes on a Plane” reference) are the Burmese python, yellow anaconda, and the northern & southern African python.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, "Burmese pythons on (Florida's) North Key Largo have killed and eaten highly endangered Key Largo wood rats, and other pythons preyed on endangered wood storks."
This is just the first phase of the invasive snake eradication program. There are a total of nine snake species U.S. wildlife officials would like to ban.
“But what if I already own one of these snakes?” you may be asking. Not to worry. If your state allows you to have it, you can keep it. But if you’re planning on to taking a road-trip with your snake, you’re out of luck. You can’t “take, send, or sell them across state lines.”
Now if you seriously think you just have to have one of these snakes brought into the country, you have about 60 days before the ban goes into effect. But please don’t do that. Just think about all those poor native snakes, right outside your door, looking for a good home.