Tuesday, Feb. 02, 2010

Burmese Python

The snake craze that caught on among American pet owners in the mid-1990s grew out of control — literally — when python owners began releasing the 20-ft. (6 m) creatures into the wild once they became too big for their tanks.

But unlike many domesticated animals who can't survive in the wild, the pythons have thrived and multiplied, particularly in the Everglades where they have become a scary nuisance, posing a potential threat to humans and feeding on native endangered species such as Key Largo wood rats, round-tailed muskrats and even alligators.

Though over 1,300 pythons have been removed from the Everglades, concerns over the ever-growing species could lead to an import ban of the high-maintenance, impractical pets.