Tuesday, February 9, 2016

FWC Offers Reward For Anacondas On Florida's Space Coast

green anaconda
Green Anaconda

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is seeking the public's help in determining how two green anacondas were found in the wild in Brevard County, Florida.

On February 3rd, an 8-foot, 8-inch green anaconda (pictured above) was turned over to FWC officials after its capture in Brevard County. The nonnative snake was collected in the Oxford Ridge neighborhood of Melbourne, Florida. 

The snake was later euthanized and turned over to biologists for research regarding the constrictor's reproductive status, overall health and gut content. An examination of the gut contents showed that the snake had recently consumed a domestic rat, leading investigators to believe that the snake had been privately owned in the recent past. The snake did not have a PIT (Passive Integrated Transponder) tag as required by state law for this species.

Earlier, in November, a different green anaconda had been found near the Brevard and Orange county line. It also was not PIT tagged, and a determination on private ownership cannot be made since the remains were not examined by biologists.

Green anacondas are considered to be the largest snake in the world, and make their home in northern South America. Female snakes can reach 26 feet and can feed on medium- and large-sized prey.

The FWC listed the green anaconda as a conditional species in 2010, prohibiting ownership in the state for personal use. Conditional nonnative species are considered to be dangerous to the ecology and/or the health and welfare of people in Florida. This species of anaconda is also listed as an injurious species under the federal Lacey Act, which prohibits importation and interstate transportation without a federal permit.

Due to the proximity of these two snakes, the FWC asks the public to report to the FWC any information regarding the possible illegal breeding, possession or release of this nonnative species by calling the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (FWCC) or by email or text to Tip@MyFWC.com. Callers may be eligible for a reward in the event of an arrest.