Reptile Enthusiasts Establish Burmese Python Initiative - NBC 6 South Florida

Reptile Enthusiasts Establish Burmese Python Initiative

Several reptile enthusiasts have begun an effort to save the snakes, now banned from being imported, from being abandoned

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    Reptile Enthusiasts Establish Burmese Python Initiative
    Julia Bagg/NBC Miami
    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (center, in the baseball cap) and other officials gathered along the Tamiami Trail to make the announcement about the python ban on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

    After a recent ban on importing pythons into the state of Florida, several reptile enthusiasts have begun an effort to save the snakes from being abandoned, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

    The Burmese Python Initiative will be a temporary stop for the unwanted snakes, in hopes that they eventually get adopted. The initiative will also take in newly banned African pythons and yellow anacondas, according to the newspaper.

    Some reptile-lovers are worried that people may abandon the snakes if they have to travel across state lines.

    “We’re really trying to take care of these animals,” Billy Leonard of Ben Siegel Reptiles was quoted as saying. "Our concern is with all these pets in households all over the country. We want to give options to people to not dump them in a wooded area or in the Everglades or euthanize them."

    The Burmese Python Initiative is a privately owned facility in Jupiter ran by reptile enthusiast Kenan Harkin, according to the Sun Sentinel.