Things are politically charged even among snakes.
The U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers is “suspicious” over the sudden, much publicized appearance of a 12-foot Burmese python near Tampa, Fla., just as “python ban” legislation goes for a full vote before the U.S. Senate. The group believes the snake was deliberately let loose by animal rights advocates to sway public opinion — and are offering a fat reward for information about the release, which they say is illegal.
And the legislation? Introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, S. 373 would make it illegal for people to import or engage in the interstate trade of “nine dangerous snakes,” including Burmese pythons, anacondas and the boa constrictor. The bill was cosponsored by Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, and is supported by the U.S. Humane Society.
Mr. Nelson introduced the bill in February after federal park officials became concerned about the number of pet snakes abandoned in the Everglades. But the reptile folks think there’s