Group cares for banned pythons

Published On: Mar 23 2012 05:23:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 05 2012 07:42:43 PM EDT

A South Florida group is looking to make sure banned snakes don't suffer from abandonment.


Python sightings are happening more often in South Florida, especially in the Everglades.

Earlier this year, Local 10 went out with state-licensed python hunter Dave Leibman.

"They're eating alligators. They're eating bobcats. They're eating panthers, birds. They're eating everything they can get a hold of.  They're not supposed to be here,” said Liebman. 

With the ban on importing or transporting the Burmese python now in effect, snake lovers like Billy Leonard fear many snake owners might abandon their snakes when they have to move or can't care for them any longer. 

"They make really good pets as long as you have the means to take care of them," said Leonard of Ben Siegel Reptiles. 

Howard Passman began the Burmese Python Initiative to give these exotic reptiles a refuge from being euthanized or abandoned. The group is opening an education and adoption center that will house and take care of the reptiles until permanent homes can be found for them. 

"We believe in adoption and no kill. We don't want to see animals abandoned or euthanized," said Passman. 

The group is preparing a Coconut Creek warehouse as a new spa for the banned snakes. 

The reptiles will receive veterinary care, food and be in a safe, secure environment. 

There's estimated to be about 1,000 Burmese python pets in Florida, and the Initiative has room for 150 at this location and more in other parts of the state. 

"We won't turn down any reptile animal at all that needs to be given up for adoption that's healthy. We'll take it and find a home for it," said Passman. 

For more information about the group, click here.


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