FWC issues preliminary statement regarding captive snake euthanasia at Broward County facility
The FWC is aware of the incident involving the euthanasia of multiple snakes at a Broward County captive wildlife facility on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Final reports for this incident are currently in development.
Preliminary information indicates that an unpermitted escaped reticulated python was found in the general vicinity of the facility on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. Reticulated pythons are a nonnative invasive reptile on the FWC’s Prohibited species list. FWC officers inspected the facility the following day to determine if it was the source of the escaped python or if all the facility’s animals were accounted for. Officers did not initiate contact with the facility owner with any intention of engaging in the euthanasia of animals.
Preliminary information also indicates that the facility owner requested that the FWC officers euthanize all of his unpermitted pythons. The owner formally relinquished the pythons and requested that the FWC officers conduct the euthanasia activities on-site at his facility.
While complying with the facility owner’s request to euthanize the relinquished pythons, officers inadvertently euthanized a boa constrictor which was not on the list of dozens of snakes relinquished. The FWC will examine if there are appropriate methods to avoid similar inadvertent events from occurring in the future.
The FWC Division of Law Enforcement is determining the full details of this incident and more information will be released as soon as it is verified and appropriate. Assembling the information and records may take time but the FWC is committed to providing it.
Information and frequently asked questions regarding Prohibited species rules can be found at https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/rule-development/.