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Big snakes are a problem for US

Updated on August 3, 2016
Reticulated python image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Reticulated python image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A recent study (Pyron et al. 2009, PLoS One 3(8): e2931) claims that most US environments are not suitable for giant exotic snakes which have escaped from or released by pet owners and that they will not pose a long term threat at a country wide level. This study however fails to make note that there is still great potential for significant damages in very short periods of time and for the localized areas for which these animals are present. Exotic snakes and lizards actually pose quite a danger to local animals many of which are not used to this reptilian predator component. It is estimated that burmese pythons have wild population in the tens of thousands in southern Florida (O'Hanlon, Discovery News 10/13/09).

Another recent study predicts that as climate change continues, the potential ranges of these snakes may extend northward as far as New Jersey (O'Hanlon, Discovery News 2/28/08).

If you own an exotic snake or lizard, please do not release it into the wild if it has become too difficult for you to handle. Please consider selling it to another individual or giving it away to a pet shop or animal rescue place. Please, think of the local wildlife and the safety of others. Some giant snakes can grow very large, and in the native countries they have come from, they have posed a risk to people (especially children). I do not want to create a panic, I just would like to encourage exotic animal owners to be more careful with the animals they bring into their homes.

We do not need to see more exotic snakes roaming in our backyards in here in the United States. We need less! Please, be responsible with your animals!

Best Wishes,


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