Releasing potentially invasive snakes into North American ecosystems is apparently an on-going problem. While Burmese and North African Pythons have been released into southern Florida and become a serious threat to wildlife. Other snakes could become established in other parts of the country and result in damage to local ecosystems.
Ball pythons are being spotted in the streets and around homes in the Old Wood Valley neighborhood north of the Valdosta Mall. While unnerving for most of those living in the area, Georgia DNR officials said the reptiles are not a threat to humans. One resident was quoted as saying, “I’m walking outside and I’m walking on thin ice, a little scared…” “You got kids in the neighborhood, small pets, and stuff. It’s definitely not cool that it’s happening, I hope they catch the rest of them.” Apparently, residents have caught or killed 25 ball pythons in the last week. The timing coincides with the time illegal exotic animals were seized by the DNR. Agents said the snakes could have been released prior to the search. DNR officials said an investigation is still ongoing, and cannot release any more information.
While people may overreact in a very humorous way to these situations, the potential for long-term damage should be taken seriously.
Wheeler E. 2018. WCTV Eyewitness News May 17, 2018