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Hatchling Pythons Discovered In The Keys

Jeremy Dixon
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This 18-inch Burmese python was found on North Key Largo Aug. 23. Along with two other hatchlings, it is seen as evidence that the exotic snakes are breeding in the Keys.

Burmese pythons have established themselves in the Everglades — and now they appear to be breeding in the Florida Keys, according to state and federal wildlife agencies.

Python hatchlings were found in one Key Largo location on Aug. 2 and 3. A third hatchling was found on North Key Largo Aug. 23.

"This is not surprising considering the proximity to the known breeding population in the Everglades," Kristen Sommers, section leader of the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Wildlife Impact Management section, said in a statement.

FWC, along with the U.S. Geological Survey, is sending postcards to Key Largo homeowners, asking for help spotting the snakes.

Key Largo is a particular concern because the island is home to the Key Largo wood ratand the Key Largo cotton mouse. Both are on the federal Endangered Species List, and both make ideal prey for pythons.

If you see a python in Key Largo — or anywhere else in Florida — you can report it to the FWC exotic species reporting hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (888-483-4681) or online at ivegot1.org. There's also a smartphone app, called I'veGot1.

Nancy Klingener was WLRN's Florida Keys reporter until July 2022.
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