In Brevard County, Florida, a nine-foot long, 33-pound green anaconda snake was killed after being spotted in the river near State Road 50. These Florida anacondas are considered a threat to the local ecology, so officials will euthanize them if they are discovered wondering about in the wild. But some people are upset that the snake was killed instead of captured.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a King Cobra snake was found hiding in Orlando, Florida, after going missing for over a month.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the killing of the Florida snake on its Facebook page.
“Our officers responded to a call from a citizen about a nine plus foot green anaconda,” they explained. “Thanks to the quick reporting by the caller, the officers were able to euthanize the nonnative constrictor before it could escape into the water. This incident shows how important it is to report sightings of nonnative wildlife including constrictor snakes like this one.”
The python is known for being some of the longest snakes in the world, but the anaconda can get quite chunky in comparison since it has a larger girth. Green anacondas can reach lengths of up to 29 feet, but weigh more than 550 pounds. In addition, they can be so round that they measure a whole foot in diameter.
“Great question,” they said. “Green anacondas are conditional nonnative species and are considered to be dangerous to the ecology and/or the health and welfare of the people of Florida. When the snake began to make its way toward the water before our trapper arrived, the officers had no choice but to euthanize the animal to prevent it from escaping.”
Owning a green anaconda in Florida is only allowed for research, commercial use, or public exhibition purposes. Since it is listed as a conditional species, it can not be purchased in the state as a pet. Florida even has an event called the Python Challenge, which asks participants to hunt down and kill pythons as part of a contest.
The reason that Florida python and anaconda snakes are not allowed for personal use is because so many have escaped into the local ecosystem that the populations of native species have been impacted significantly.
“It’s probably a safe assumption that things like raccoons and possums probably don’t associate snakes with being something that really is a major threat to them,” explained Michael E. Dorcas, a herpetologist at Davidson College in North Carolina, in a 2012 interview with Yale Environment 360. “Because there really hasn’t been a snake big enough to eat a raccoon living in Florida for about 18 million years.”
Regardless, the fact that the officers killed the Florida anaconda snake was upsetting to some on social media.
“I’m sorry; I don’t buy that,” wrote Debra McLaren. “The officers could have herded it away from the water. They could have done many things, but the easiest and fastest way is to shoot to kill something that can’t defend itself. No respect for those that did this, or for the agency that allows it.”
Others said the police officers responded appropriately since it is claimed the large anaconda snake could have been a danger to humans.
“Sometimes drastic measures are required for the safety of all,” wrote Amanda Brown. “Anacondas are known to eat people. And a nine foot one is big enough to eat a small child. They are aggressive when they are hungry.”