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US bans imports of Burmese pythons and other exotic snakes

The Obama administration banned the import of exotic snakes after the ecosystem of Florida's Everglades have suffered.
Us bans burmese pythonsEnlarge
The US has banned the import of Burmese pythons and three other types of exotic snakes. (Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images)

The Burmese python won’t be slithering back to the United States anytime soon.

The Obama administration has banned the importation of four species of snakes and their eggs, the Associated Press reported. The ban includes the Burmese python, the northern and southern African pythons and the yellow anaconda.

On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the ban at a news conference in Everglades National Park in South Florida, an area stricken with non-native snakes, who damaged ecosystems, CNN reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: 16-foot python captured and killed in Florida

"It does us no good to put in these billions of dollars in investments in the Everglades only to have these giant constrictor snakes come in and undo the good that we are doing," Salazar said, the Chicago Tribune reported. "The action we're taking today is a milestone in the protection of the Everglades."

The Everglades is known as a river of grass and has the perfect climate for pythons to hide and breed.

"We are very happy to see this finally in place," said park spokeswoman Linda Friar, CNN reported. "The python has continued to be an increasing challenge in management and we are hoping this will help us get a better handle on this species."

The Burmese python is supposed to be the biggest threat to the park, which are believed to have been originally pets released into the park, CNN reported. The park has found python eggs all over the park, including the largest clutch of 83 eggs.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) welcomed the announced, who has pushed for a congressional ban on many nonnative species of snakes, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Snake smuggler fined $400

"The Burmese python has already gained a foothold in the Florida Everglades, and we must do all we can to battle its spread and to prevent further human contributions of invasive snakes that cause economic and environmental damage," Salazar said in a statement, the LA Times reported.

This ban by the Obama administration has received bipartisan congressional support.

Just last year a 16-foot python was found and killed in the Everglades, with a whole 76-pound deer still in its stomach. An estimated 15,000 pythons are believed to live in the Everglades.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/us-bans-imports-burmese-pythons-and-other-exotic-snakes