Florida representatives pushing to ban the importation of non-native snakes

There's no question of the damage that non-native snakes are doing to South Florida's ecosystem.
 
Many are stronger than Florida's native species.
 
They've been imported for decades, kept as pets, and many are released into the wild.
 
"We've got all kinds of exotic animals running amok out there," said David Hitzig of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary.
 
The problem has caught the attention of members of Congress.
 
Two South Florida representatives - who disagree on almost everything - have come together to fight snakes.
 
Republican Rep. Allen West once called Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, "despicable."
 
She once called him, "sexist."
 
But they've co-signed a letter to the president in hopes that the White House will approve a ban on importing snakes like Burmese pythons, green anacondas and boas.
 
"Florida is known for being one of the biggest importing and exporting places in the world. We see it for all kinds of things," said Hitzig.
 
The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary has no problem with tighter regulations.
 
They say those snakes are dangerous to the environment.
 
But enforcing those regulations is another matter altogether.
 
"Do you just go door-to-door to find who has a snake and who doesn't?" asked Hitzig. "It's way too late. This should have been done a long time ago."
 
Hitzig says the government should spend more time on education and providing resources for caretakers to handle ones that are captured.
 
"Otherwise, their efforts, aren't going to amount to very much," said Hitzig.
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