14 Foot Python Found Alongside New York Road
A 14-foot reticulated python was found dead on the side of a Long Island, New York road a couple weeks ago, prompting an investigation into how it got there.
To put any New York residents at ease, the 14-foot snake is clearly not native to the New York wildlife environment so your odds of running into one in the wild are essential non-existent. But whoever found this snake, albeit dead, on the side of the road in Medford on Long Island was probably quite startled. I certainly would be if I accidentally stumbled upon a snake that has a better chance of dunking a basketball than I do.
According to a report by Zoe Sottile for CNN, reticulated pythons are native to southern and southeast Asia so this python may have been a pet. Unfortunately for the owner, it's illegal to own a reticulated python in New York State without a special dangerous animal license. And it stands to reason that anybody who would go out of their way to acquire that license, probably wouldn't lead their dead python on the side of the road.
The report also indicated that reticulated pythons are popular enough as an illegal pet that there's a small invasive population in Florida, likely released or escaped pets, that is wreaking havoc on the local wildlife balance. So if there's as much of a market for the extra long snakes in New York, we could have a similar problem with a giant invasive snake species.