Skip Snow of the National Park Service measures a captured Burmese python
at the South Florida Research Center in Everglades National Park
in an undated photograph.
The southern Asian snake's beauty and ease of handling has made it a mainstay in the pet trade, especially in Florida, where the species has been accidentally--and sometimes purposefully--released into the wild. There are now tens of thousands of pythons breeding in Florida, and some of them have been known to snack on rare wildlife, such as the Key Largo woodrat, the report says.
Florida Museum of Natural History's Krysko said officials haven't taken enough action to stop the snakes, in part because the reptiles are widespread throughout public and private lands.
"Burmese pythons don't see political boundaries," he said. "[We need to] remove every one of them and kill them all."
Photograph courtesy Lori Oberhofer, National Park Service via United States Geological Survey