Last week The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Python Action Team captured and removed the program’s 500th invasive Burmese python from the wild.

The python was 9’ 10” long female and weighed about 20 pounds. Invasive pythons have impacted Florida ecosystems tremendously, and several mammal populations have severely declined in the Everglades due to Burmese pythons, according to USGS, the sole science agency for the Department of the Interior.

“In a 2012 study, populations of raccoons had dropped 99.3 percent, opossums 98.9 percent, and bobcats 87.5 percent since 1997. Marsh rabbits, cottontail rabbits, and foxes effectively disappeared,” according to USGS website.

As a result, from escaped or released pets, Burmese pythons became established in Florida eventually growing from a nonnative species to overpopulating the wild.  Positively Osceola and FWC are reminding the community to NEVER release pet snakes into the wild! Doing so is illegal and can negatively impact Florida’s native wildlife and habitat.

“Thanks to the hard-working men and women of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, hundreds of invasive Burmese pythons have been removed from the Everglades and our ecosystem,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “As we celebrate this significant milestone, my administration will continue to prioritize the protection of our environment, natural resources and wildlife, which are at the heart of our economy and our way of life here in Florida.”

The FWC has an Exotic Pet Amnesty Program that allows nonnative pets to be surrendered without penalty. Visit for more information.