What are your thoughts on people in Florida keeping Burmese pythons as pets and then releasing them into the Everglades?
Keeping big snakes is fine as long as you are able to provide for them. It’s like keeping any animal that has unusual requirements: if you have the resources, it’s generally fine (although there are, of course, MANY exceptions, and many animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity period).
Releasing those snakes is a terrible thing to do, and people who do it should be heavily penalised (fined, imprisoned, chopped up and used as bait to recapture the animals… I’m sure there’s a happy middle-ground in there somewhere). Florida is probably the single place on earth with the most invasive species per square kilometre. Releasing big snakes threatens the endemic wildlife. Burms have become a huge pest problem in FL.
I am of the opinion that big snakes should require licenses to keep, like many hots; they are not just dangerous, but have special care requirements and should not be available to the general public. Irresponsible keepers give everyone else a bad name, which is bad for the entire hobby, and should be stopped. This is why I support at least the spirit of the Lacey Act, if not exactly the letter of it (do not bother fighting me on this point, I do not live in America and am not well-enough informed to argue about it; I know the concept, and I have read the laws and some of the arguments).
In summary, here is a PSA:
NEVER. EVER. RELEASE AN ANIMAL THAT IS NOT NATIVE TO WHERE YOU LIVE. AND EVEN THEN, DON’T DO IT.
Know what you are getting yourself into when you buy any animal. If you cannot provide for that animal, DON’T GET IT.
If you can no longer provide for an animal that you thought you could cope with, HAVE IT REHOMED. Don’t be a dickwad and release it. (A) That’s abusive, and (B) it threatens your local wildlife.
Irresponsible keepers are responsible for the suffering and illegal release of tens of thousands of animals world-wide. Do not be one of those people. Or I will be forced to hunt you down and hurt you.
The holidays are here so I decided to make a Follow Forever to thank all of you for making my dash so beautiful the whole year! I hope you all have wonderful holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! ♥
“The illegal wildlife trade is responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands of animals a year, pushing some of our most beloved species to the brink of extinction. Our children should not live in a world without elephants, tigers, lions and rhinos. Enough is enough. It is time to choose between critically endangered species and the criminals who kill them for money.“ United for Wildlife Campaign launch | JUNE 9, 2014