The greatest thing that has come out of this is the education and awareness. To see this group of neighbors turn around their mindset has been amazing.
More than 20 ball pythons that were found in a St. Augustine, FL neighborhood last month are being slowly adopted out. The snakes, many of them morphs, began appearing in the neighborhood of Prairie Lakes in early July, with 22 found in just four weeks.
“The first four were either killed due to misidentification of the species or found dead. Most are in amazing shape, definitely well fed, some possible bite marks on some. The albinos are a bit beat up, with what looks like bruising and bite marks on them,” Lissa O’Rourke, President of the Jacksonville Herpetological Society told ReptilesMagazine.com. “I picked up the first one on July 5 when a friend tagged me in a Facebook post she saw that said “albino boa constrictor at our front door.” It was curled up by their front door. JHS isn’t set up as a rescue, but they kept coming and I asked my friend Sky to join me as she is a vet tech for an exotics vet, and fellow reptile enthusiast.”
O’Rourke has no idea how that many ball pythons came to be found in the neighborhood, most found on the same street, especially when there are rescues that will take them in. “Sky and I are fostering them, and had adopted out eight of them before the news broke. The press has directed people to the adoption form on our JHS website, and the response has been overwhelming. Sky and I went through all the applications yesterday and we’re contacting those adopters this week. Anyone in the Jacksonville /St. Augustine area that is interested can go to www.jaxherpsociety.org and fill out the form.”
“The greatest thing that has come out of this is the education and awareness. To see this group of neighbors turn around their mindset and fears has been amazing. Many misinformed comments on Facebook have been corrected by people responding. JHS’s mission is to provide education on our captive and native species, and we’ve accomplished that in a big way.”
For those interested in adopting a ball python, please contact the Jacksonville Herp Society via its website at www.jaxherpsociety.org.