News Releases

Pet python escapes; FWC cites owner

News Release

Friday, June 17, 2011

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have charged a West Palm Beach man with two misdemeanors after his pet Burmese python escaped its enclosure Monday and wound up in a parking lot of a nearby multifamily home.

David T. Beckett (DOB 10/13/59) of West Palm Beach was charged with illegal possession of a Burmese python without a permit and improper caging, allowing escape. One of the requirements of a permit calls for the owner to keep the reptile in a secure enclosure.

Because the lid of its aquarium was left unsecured, the 7-foot Burmese python pushed its way out. West Palm Beach police recovered it a short time later. The snake is now being kept at a permitted facility.

The Burmese python, once listed as a reptile of concern, is now one of eight nonnative reptiles listed as conditional species. Conditional reptiles may not be acquired as pets. People who owned a conditional species before July 1, 2010, may keep their animal for the remainder of its life. These pet owners must maintain a valid reptile-of-concern license for the animals.

For more information on captive wildlife rules, visit and click on "Captive Wildlife."

FWC Facts:
A shrimp escapes predators by quickly pulling its abdomen in toward its carapace (body). This motion shoots it through the water backward.

Learn More at AskFWC