Society

Two Giant Pythons Removed From Vermont Home

| by Lauren Briggs

Two giant pythons have made their way from New York to Vermont to a Massachusetts reptile sanctuary.

When a New York man called Vermont snake collector Pat Howard, saying he could not keep the two reticulated pythons, Howard knew that he had to do something, so he brought them into his home and called the state game wardens on Monday, reports WCVB.

The larger of the two pythons, native to southeast Asia, is 20 feet long and weighs approximately 225 pounds. The other is between 17 and 18 feet and weighs roughly 150 pounds.

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Beside the fact that the exotic snakes are illegal to own in Vermont, Howard was concerned about being able to feed the reptiles as well as potential risk to humans.

"If a snake that size got ahold of you, if you didn't have any help with you, you're a goner," Howard told WPTZ.

So he called the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, who put him in touch with Rainforest Reptile Shows in Massachusetts, a rescue organization that offered to pick up the snakes and give them a permanent home.

"I'm just glad to see she's going to where she'll be well-cared for," Howard said of the larger python.

Herpetologist Mack Ralbovsky said the two snakes "will have a good home."

Vermont game warden Chad Barrett has noticed that exotic pets seem to be on the rise. In recent years, he has seen monkeys, alligators, a scorpion and a caiman in the state.

"They don't make very good house pets," he said.

One of Barrett's main goals is to avoid seeing exotic species released into the wild, where they could destroy ecosystems.

"We have contacts all over the East Coast where we can hopefully get [exotic species] homed without having to put them down," he said. "Just call your local fish and wildlife office -- your warden -- and we'll know how to respond to an exotic animal situation."

Barrett added that Howard will not face charges for possessing the illegal animals, because his intent was rescue-oriented.

Sources: WCVB, WPTZ / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons