WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have charged a West Palm Beach man with two misdemeanors after his pet Burmese python escaped its enclosure Monday and wound up in a parking lot of a nearby multifamily home.
David T. Beckett , of West Palm Beach, was charged with illegal possession of a Burmese python without a permit and improper caging, allowing escape. One of the requirements of a permit calls for the owner to keep the reptile in a secure enclosure.
Because the lid of its aquarium was left unsecured, the 7-foot Burmese python pushed its way out. West Palm Beach police recovered it a short time later. The snake is now being kept at a permitted facility.
The Burmese python, once listed as a reptile of concern, is now one of eight nonnative reptiles listed as conditional species. Conditional reptiles may not be acquired as pets. People who owned a conditional species before July 1, 2010, may keep their animal for the remainder of its life. These pet owners must maintain a valid reptile-of-concern license for the animals.
For more information on captive wildlife rules, visit MyFWC.com/License and click on “Captive Wildlife.”
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