US bans import of snakes plaguing the Everglades

One of four types of snakes banned
One of four types of snakes banned

MIAMI (AP) - Federal officials say it's now illegal to import four types of snakes that have been plaguing the Everglades.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the ban Tuesday on Burmese pythons, yellow anacondas and northern and southern African pythons. The snakes are also now banned from being transported across state lines. Pythons have become a growing problem in Florida's revered swampland.

Many are believed to have been pets that were dumped once they grew too big; others may have escaped from pet shops during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and have been reproducing ever since.

The snakes can grow to be 26 feet long and more than 200 pounds and threaten native species, including deer.

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