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Snakes Slither Into Neighborhoods - WPLG Miami

Animals  (tags: everglades, snakes, pets, escape, neighbourhoods, Florida )

- 3583 days ago -
MIAMI -- Miami-Dade firefighters with the department's elite Venom Response Team are finding themselves increasingly busy as more non-native pythons and boas slither into populated areas. "This year I'm surprised by the numbers a little bit,"


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Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Monday June 29, 2009, 6:17 pm
Snakes Slither Into Neighborhoods
Snakes Hit Critical Mass In Everglades, Move Into Populated Areas

POSTED: Monday, June 29, 2009
UPDATED: 8:22 am EDT June 29, 2009

MIAMI -- Miami-Dade firefighters with the department’s elite Venom Response Team are finding themselves increasingly busy as more non-native pythons and boas slither into populated areas.

“This year I’m surprised by the numbers a little bit,” said Lt. Lisa Wood, one of six firefighters responsible for capturing the large snakes and responding to calls about snake bites. “They're just hitting critical mass in the Everglades and they are having to disperse out from there,” she said.


In one week, Miami-Dade firefighters captured five pythons. Although pythons are not venomous, they have 70 teeth, a lock-biting ability and constrict their prey -- making them extremely powerful and dangerous.

It has been widely speculated that the python and boa populations have exploded in the Everglades because people are releasing their pet exotic snakes that get too large for them to handle at home. But Capt. Charles Seifert believes other factors may be behind the population boom.

Snakes are escape artists and can get out of many cages if not properly secured, he said. It’s believed that during Hurricane Andrew, many snakes may have been released or escaped after their cages blew over. Snakes reproduce rapidly, laying roughly 30 eggs at a time.

Miami-Dade’s Venom Response Team is unique to Florida and because of the large snake invasion, team members have seen their duties shift to include capturing exotic snakes.

“Our main response is snake bites, providing anti-venin to the hospitals for the treatment of venomous snake bites. Pythons aren’t venomous but they are large constrictors and they’re not native so, we’ve picked up the task of catching these snakes,” said Seifert said.

Some of the captured snakes are on display at A.D. Barnes Park along Bird Road.

Copyright 2009 by Post-Newsweek Stations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Jamie L (195)
Monday June 29, 2009, 6:19 pm
That's been and I'm guessing will always be a continuing problem. Thanks Raffi!

Cheree M (46)
Tuesday June 30, 2009, 1:29 am
I wouldn't hurt a snake nor any animal, But snakes make my skin crawl, I'm afraid of them. Only because I was chased by a black racer when I was around 7-8 & It scared the you know what out of me. I do like to look at them at zoo's.

Teresa del Castillo (1519)
Thursday July 2, 2009, 4:02 pm
Like a plague prophecy of the end of times!

Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Thursday July 2, 2009, 4:08 pm
Thanks for your comments everyone. Some wildlife experts in Florida think that is only the beginning of a mass onslaught of throw away pets and escapee snakes.

No one has any idea of how many snakes are "slithering" around in the Everglades...These snakes have been multiplying in these environments for decades. Add this to the giant monitor lizards and other reptilian creatures and it could develop into a serious invasion.
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