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In response to several recent issues with nonnative venomous snakes in Florida, including the escape of Elvis the King Cobra in Orange County, Florida Wildlife officials have been working to change existing rules regulating captive wildlife. Florida has about 280 active venomous reptile licenses. A committee is currently considering a classification system based on native and non-native reptiles and potentially an outright prohibition on the keeping of some species. The committee is also considering the use of passive integrated transponder tags, which would allow Florida Wildlife officials to identify animals recovered from the wild and to keep better tabs on animals currently in the state. A proposed rule amendment from the committee is anticipated in June. In response to the escape of Elvis, Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission revoked owner Mike Kennedy’s license to keep venomous reptiles, which he is currently appealing.
For more information see:
Jim Waymer, “Florida to crack down on cobras,” Florida Today, April 14, 2016, http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/environment/2016/04/11/florida-crack-down-cobras/82887418/
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