Bad news for lovers of giant snakes, killing babies, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson: Burmese pythons have been banned in Florida.
On Thursday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission signed new rules that prohibit anyone from owning Burmese pythons and, actually, any other "reptiles of concern" as pets.
The pythons have run amok in the Everglades, disrupting the ecosystem, as evidenced by the historical, totally accurate picture on the right. And those snakes kept as pets have escaped their cages and strangled several adorable sleeping babies. Therefore: No more pythons.
The commission's war on giant snakes reached a high point in April, when
it allowed a monthlong special hunting season encouraging any gun-totin' yokel with a hunting license to catch as many lispy critters as possible.
But under the new rules, the war goes on the offensive. No one can acquire snakes. And those who
already own them will be allowed to keep them only until
the animals' death. So treasure the time you have with your beloved Mephistopheles the python.
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If you don't wish to keep the snakes you have, the commission has also signed a new "24/7 amnesty rule" for owners to turn over their pets to licensed dealers. Only some dealers and researchers will be allowed to keep their animals, and then only for sale outside Florida.
Here are the snakes affected: Burmese/Indian python, reticulated python, green anaconda, Nile monitor
lizard, and African rock python. Of course, no word yet on whether this will throw a monkey wrench into the glamorous production of Tiffany and Debbie Gibson's new blockbuster, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.