The following is a partial listing of incidents involving exotic “pets” in Florida since 1997.
   
 

October 1, 2013 / Salerno, FL: Sheriff's deputies captured a 10-foot albino Burmese python in a residential neighborhood. The regurgitated carcasses of two cats were found nearby. (Palm Beach Post)

August 30, 2013 / Miami-Dade County, FL: A 10-foot-long rock python killed a Siberian husky, a family pet, at a home in Southwest Miami-Dade County. (Tampa Bay Times)

August 4, 2013 / Hialeah, FL: A homeowner cleaning out his shed discovered a 13-foot albino Burmese python. The snake was removed by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. (WSVN Ch. 7)

June 2, 2013 / Lacoochee, FL: A kangaroo who had escaped from a "breeding farm" and spent at least one night on the loose, died hours after being recaptured, possibly due to stress. (Tampa Bay Times)

June 2, 2013 / Tallahassee, FL: A llama broke out of a fenced-in yard and was captured by sheriff's deputies after several hours. (Tallahassee Democrat)

May 13, 2013 / Key Haven, FL: The major highway in the Florida Keys was closed for an hour as animal control officers attemped to recapture a "pet" capuchin monkey who had broken free from her leash. The monkey's owner was cited for violations of state wildlife regulations. (Key West Citizen)

April 18, 2013 / Palm City, FL: A Martin County Sheriff Deputy responding to a domestic dispute was injured by a marmoset kept in the home as a "pet." (FWC Weekly Reports)

April 14, 2013 / Tampa, FL: A 5-foot-long boa constrictor was discovered coiled around the front tire and engine of a van parked at Tampa International Airport. (Bay News 9)

April 6, 2013 / Winter Haven, FL: A four-foot-long Argentine black and white tegu was spotted near a road just outside the city of Winter Haven. (Bay News 9)

March 30, 2013 / Land O'Lakes, FL: A Savannah, a cross between a serval (wild African cat) and a domestic cat, escaped from a home in a residential neighborhood. The cat was later recaptured. (Bay News 9)

January 21, 2013 / North Miami Beach, FL: A young girl was scratched in the face by one of two "pet" lemurs who had gotten out of their cage in the backyard of a home. (WTVJ Ch. 6)

January 6, 2013 / Oldsmar, FL: Seven Burmese pythons, seven monitor lizards, 100 bearded lizards and many other animals were removed from a home. The animals were being bred for sale, and were kept in deplorable conditions. (Tampa Bay Times)

December 30, 2012 / Southwest Ranches, FL: A Siberian lynx in poor health and housed in substandard conditions was seized by state wildlife officials from the home of a 15-year-old who lacked the required license to possess the animal. (Sun Sentinel)

December 2012 / Key Largo, FL: A fisherman killed a humpback grouper, a species native to the tropical Pacific Ocean. Experts believe the fish was a released "pet" who was dumped into the ocean after outgrowing an aquarium. (Miami Herald)

November 11, 2012 / Ocala, FL: A 7-foot boa constrictor was found in the Ocala National Forest; the snake is most likely a released pet. (Gainesville Sun)

October 4, 2012 / Key West, FL: A 10-foot boa constrictor was captured at the Key West International Airport; authorities believe the snake is most likely a released or escaped pet. (Key West Citizen)

October 3, 2012 / Cape Canaveral, FL: A 6-foot-tall emu kept as a pet jumped a fence at his owner's home and wandered between cars on A1A before being recaptured. (Florida Today)

September 30, 2012 / Merritt Island, FL: A man was bit by a pet capuchin monkey after he tried to pet the animal. The monkey will be quarantined for 30 days to be sure that he doesn't show any symptoms of rabies. (Florida Today)

September 18, 2012 / Palm Beach County, FL: An albino skunk purchased from a pet store slipped out of a harness and escaped. The animal has not been found. (FWC Weekly Reports)

August 15, 2012 / Martin County, FL: A man trying to recapture his escaped "pet" macaque monkey was bitten and seriously injured by the animal. Sadly, the monkey was shot and killed in order to stop the attack. (Palm Beach Post)

August 8, 2012 / Fort Lauderdale, FL: A paramedic responding to the scene of a motorcycle accident was bitten by a marmoset who was riding in the motorcyclist's travel bag. (FWC Weekly Reports)

August 3, 2012 / Miami-Dade County, FL: Two serval cats who escaped from a private facility were recaptured over a two-day period by state wildlife officers. (FWC Weekly Reports)

May 31, 2012 / Alachua County, FL: State wildlife officers helped an Alachua County Sheriff's Deputy capture a pet kinkajou who had escaped from a nearby home. (FWC Weekly Reports)

May 28, 2012 / Brooksville, FL: A cougar kept as a pet escaped from his cage and killed a neighbor's beagle who had wandered onto the property. (WTSP Ch. 10, Brooksville)

May 16, 2012 / Big Pine Key, FL: A six-foot boa constrictor, believed to be an escaped or released pet, was captured on the island. (Key West Citizen)

May 8, 2012 / St. Petersburg, FL: A ball python was captured on a street in downtown St. Petersburg. The snake is believed to be a former pet. (Tampa Bay Times)

April 17, 2012 / Gainesville, FL: A patas monkey, a species native to central Africa, was spotted in a residential neighborhood. (Gainesville Sun)

April 5, 2012 / Pasco County, FL: A man reported to police that one of his pet monkeys "slipped his leash" and ran into nearby woods. The monkey was recaptured the next day. (Tampa Bay Times)

March 19, 2012 / Bradenton, FL: A capuchin monkey was spotted on surveillance video rummaging for food in a dumpster at a business park. The animal is most likely an escaped pet. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

February 7, 2012 / Sanford, FL: A "pet" rhesus monkey who had escaped from a cage at a residential home was captured by police. The monkey may have been loose in the area for weeks. (WESH Ch. 2, Orlando Sentinel)

January 9, 2012 / Sharpes, FL: A woman working in her garden was startled by a six-foot-long boa constrictor. The snake, who was captured by police, had escaped from an aquarium at a neighbor's house. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

January 5, 2012 / Boca Raton, FL: State wildlife officers seized a rattlesnake, a puff adder, a Red spitting cobra and other reptiles from an apartment. The reptiles were being kept without a permit. (Sun Sentinel)

December 25, 2011 / Palmetto Bay, FL: A 13-foot Burmese python was captured in the swimming pool at a home in the Village of Palmetto Bay. (NBC Miami)

November 12, 2011 / Key Colony Beach, FL: Tourists discovered a 7-foot Burmese python outside their vacation rental; the snake was captured by police. (Florida Keys Keynoter)

October 22, 2011 / Thonotosassa, FL: An otter being kept as a pet got loose and bit a woman in a residential neighborhood. The woman was treated at a local hospital. (Central Florida News 13)

October 6, 2011 / Holly Hill, FL: A police officer was bitten while attempting to capture a "pet" tamarin monkey who had escaped from a residence and climbed a tree. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

September 22, 2011 / Davie, FL: A large, Argentine black and white tegu was captured by police and state wildlife officers in the backyard of a home in a residential neighborhood. (FWC Weekly Reports)

September 15, 2011 / Tequesta, FL: An eight-foot-long boa constrictor escaped from a cage outside a home in a residential neighborhood. The snake was spotted and recaptured by police officers approx. 36 hours later. (Palm Beach Post)

September 8, 2011 / Palm Beach County, FL: State wildlife officers cited a man for possession of a 13-foot reticulated python, a ring-tailed lemur and a Kinkajou in his residence without the required captive wildlife permits. (FWC Weekly Reports)

August 4, 2011 / Margate, FL: An 8-foot albino Burmese python was captured by state wildlife officers. (FWC Weekly Reports)

July 29, 2011 / Miami-Dade County, FL: An 11-foot Burmese python was captured and removed from a farm in the Redlands area. (Miami Herald)

July 20, 2011 / Miami-Dade County, FL: A five-and-a-half-foot Dumeril's boa was captured in a residential neighborhood. Authorities are trying to find the owner of the snake. A member of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Program told local media, "This is a an example of pets getting away from people or people releasing them into the wild. It's not fair to the pet and this animal could pose a threat to somebody." (NBC Miami)

June 28, 2011 / West Palm Beach, FL: Two monitor lizards were recently captured by state wildlife officers in West Palm Beach, including one 5-foot-long lizard who was removed from inside a screened patio at a home. (FWC News Release)

June 21, 2011 / Fort Myers, FL: A four-foot-long ball python was discovered in the backyard of a Fort Myers home. (WINK-TV, Fort Myers)

June 17, 2011 / West Palm Beach, FL: A seven-foot-long Burmese python who had escaped from a small aquarium inside a home was captured by police. The snake's owner was charged with illegal possession and improper caging. (Palm Beach Post)

May 20, 2011 / Key West, FL: A tourist reported being bit on the face by a lemur who a local resident had brought downtown. (Key West Citizen)

February 24, 2011 / Highlands County, FL: State wildlife officers responded to a complaint about a whitetail deer kept as a pet inside a trailer. The property owner was cited for possessing the animal without a permit. (FWC Weekly Reports)Tarpon Springs

January 27, 2011 / Tarpon Springs, FL: A man walking his dog came across a 14-foot, 150-pound African rock python sunning itself. The man called police who captured the snake. The owner of the snake, who was later identified by a microchip in the animal, reported that the snake had been missing since 2009. (St. Petersburg Times)

January 27, 2011 / Naples, FL: State wildlife officers captured a large Burmese python in Collier-Seminole State Park. (FWC Weekly Reports)

January 23, 2011 / Vero Beach, FL: An animal control officer captured a 7-foot-long boa constrictor in a residential neighborhood. The officer reported picking up five large non-native snakes in Indian River County in 2010. (Vero Beach Press-Journal)

January 13, 2011 / Williston, FL: State wildlife officials believe a Patas monkey who has been spotted in the area may be the same monkey who escaped from a home in Marion County during the summer of 2009. The monkey has evaded efforts to capture him. (Gainesville Sun)

December 21, 2010 / Kendall, FL: A capuchin monkey got loose from an enclosure at a home and bit a man at a neighboring house. After the attack, the monkey climbed up to the roof of the home. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded and captured the monkey. (WSVN Ch. 7, Miami)

December 13, 2010 / Melbourne, FL: A 13-foot Burmese python was discovered by workers constructing a fence in a residential neighborhood. (WESH Ch. 2, Orlando)

December 7, 2010 / Lakeland, FL: A "pet" muntjac escaped from a holiday display and ran loose before being recaptured by church personnel. (WTSP Ch. 10, St. Petersburg)

October 14, 2010 / Palm Bay, FL: Police responded to reports of a six-foot-long boa constrictor inside a trash can; the snake was retrieved by animal control. (Florida Today)

October 8, 2010 / Orlando, FL: An elderly couple cleaning out their garage were surprised to discover a Burmese python inside a box. The snake was taken to a wildlife sanctuary. (WESH Ch. 2, Orlando)

September 14, 2010 / Vero Beach, FL:An animal control officer captured a 3-foot-long Nile monitor in a city park; the officer said it was the third one that he has captured in the last 1 1/2 years. (Vero Beach Press Journal)

September 2, 2010 / North Lauderdale, FL: Sheriff's officers discovered a tarantula and Boa constrictor in an abandoned apartment. (FWC Weekly Reports)

August 26, 2010 / Sebastian, FL: A woman was taken to the hospital for treatment after being bit on the hand by her "pet" 12-foot-long Burmese python.(St. Lucie News Tribune)

August 24, 2010 / Tampa, FL: A man was treated at a local hospital after being bit by his "pet" Gaboon viper. The man is now facing several criminal charges, including illegal possession of a venomous reptile. (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release)

August 19, 2010 / Charlotte County, FL: State wildlife officers discovered four deer being kept as pets in the backyard of a home in Charlotte County. The homeowner was charged with violating wildlife regulations. (FWC Weekly Reports)

August 2010 / Plant City, FL: A ball python was hit by a vehicle and killed on a city street. A local herpetologist said that he believes the snake was most likely a released pet. (Plant City Courier & Tribune)

muntjacJuly 26, 2010 / Seminole, FL: A "pet" muntjac, a small deer native to Southeast Asia, was captured after escaping from her enclosure and running loose for several days. (WTSP Ch. 10)

July 21, 2010 / West Palm Beach, FL: Police found an 8-foot python near a car dealership; the snake had been reported missing the previous day. (Palm Beach Post)

July 9, 2010 / Ormond Beach, FL: Police searching the home of a man suspected of growing marijuana found 26 snakes—including six pythons, one rattlesnake, one water moccasin and several other venomous snakes—and a monitor lizard. The man was cited for possession of the reptiles without a permit. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

June 17, 2010 / Miami-Dade County, FL: State wildlife officers investigated the escape of a "pet" silver fox. The owner received a citation for failure to have the required permits to possess the animal. (FWC Weekly Reports)

June 4, 2010 / Cape Coral, FL: The City of Cape Coral's Environmental Resources Section reported to have captured 293 monitor lizards—strong reptiles that can grow as long as 7 feet—since a trapping program began in the city in 2003. (Fort Myers News-Press)

May 9, 2010 / Rockledge, FL: A Burmese python was discovered underneath a car in a parking lot. A wildlife officer was called to capture the snake. (WESH Ch. 2, Orlando)

May 4, 2010 / Ocala, FL: A 4-foot tegu, an omnivorous lizard native to South America, was spotted in the Ocala National Forest. The lizard was not captured. A professor at the University of Florida said the animal was likely dumped in the forest by an overwhelmed pet owner, "It's probably an animal that got too big, and somebody got tired of it, and they dumped it." (Orlando Sentinel)

April 30, 2010 / Miami, FL: A tegu was captured at the entrance to Everglades National Park. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists have caught 13 tegus in South Florida since last fall. The lizards are believed to be "pets" who escaped or were released into the wild. (WTVJ CH. 6, Miami)

April 25, 2010 / Clearwater, FL: Two lemurs were captured after being found walking in a residential neighborhood; authorities are looking for the animals owner. (WTVT Ch. 13, Tampa)

wallabyMarch 31, 2010 / Windermere, FL: A "pet" wallaby who escaped from her harness in early March remains on the loose in the Town of Windermere. (WKMG Ch. 6, Orlando)

March 25, 2010 / Collier County, FL: A man driving on U.S. 41 near Collier-Seminole State Park spotted and captured a nine-foot long Burmese python. (WBBH Ch. 2, Fort Myers)

March 23, 2010 / Palm Bay, FL: Dozens of pythons, boa constrictors and other snakes were found dead inside an abandoned home. Many of the dead snakes were found inside plastic containers in the home. The homeowner is facing numerous charges of animal cruelty. (Florida Today, WESH Ch. 2)

March 16, 2010 / Kissimmee, FL: A man went door-to-door warning his neighbors in an Osceola County neighborhood about his pet bobcat who had escaped after attacking him. (Central Florida News 13)

March 11, 2010 / Marco Island, FL: Landscapers working at a home in Marco Island discovered a 9-foot Burmese Python underneath a patio. (Marco Eagle)

March 4, 2010 / Collier County, FL: An 11-foot Burmese python was captured in the Rookery Bay Reserve; two smaller snakes were also spotted but escaped capture. (WZVN Ch. 7, Fort Myers)

February 25, 2010 / Pompano Beach, FL: State wildlife officers responded to a call about a Burmese python abandoned at a rental property. The officers collected the seven-foot long python. (FWC Weekly Reports)

February 19, 2010 / Wellington, FL: A visitor to a private, exotic cat "sanctuary" was bitten by a jaguar. The woman suffered serious injuries to her hand and was treated at a local hospital. (Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinel)

February 10, 2010 / Cocoa, FL: A family told a local TV station that they are afraid to use their backyard after discovering a 9-foot-long python, who recently gave birth, living underneath their home. (Central Florida News Ch. 13)

January 24, 2010 / Orlando, FL: The Orlando Fire Department responded to a call and removed a boa constrictor discovered coiled around a hot water heater inside an apartment in Orlando. (Orlando Sentinel)

January 16, 2010 / Port St. Lucie, FL: A pacu measuring 38 inches in length and weighing 52 pounds was found on the shore of the St. Lucie River. It is believed that the fish, native to South America’s Amazon River, was killed by the recent cold weather. (St. Lucie News Tribune)

anacondaJanuary 13, 2010 / Osceola County, FL: A 12-foot green anaconda was captured by members of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office mounted patrol at a public park. The snake is the first of its kind to be caught in the wild in Florida. An officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told a local newspaper, "Someone purchased this at a time it was no bigger than a couple of fingers and when it got big, released it." (Orlando Sentinel)

January 13, 2010 / Miami-Dade County, FL: During a three-day, state-coordinated effort to capture exotic snakes in western Miami-Dade County, four African rock pythons (including two snakes that measured 14-feet long) were captured. Two others were spotted but escaped. 11 African rock pythons have been found in Florida, raising concerns that the snakes have established a breeding population. (Sun-Sentinel)

December 17, 2009 / Hollywood, FL: State wildlife officers responded to a call about a large snake in a neighborhood. A nine-foot-long Burmese python was captured. The snake had escaped from a home. The owner was cited for failure to have the required permits to possess the animal. (FWC Weekly Reports)

December 12, 2009 / Avon Park, FL: Highlands County Animal Control is looking for the owner of a 5-foot-long reticulated python, described as "tame," who was caught in a residential area. The director of animal control said the snake was the fifth that the department has caught in the last three years. (Highlands Today)

December 12, 2009 / Vero Beach, FL: An 8 1/2-foot boa constrictor spotted crossing a road in a residential neighborhood was captured by residents and turned over to animal control. (Vero Beach Press Journal)

December 6, 2009 / Port Tampa, FL: Firefighters helped to capture a 12-foot-long Burmese python who was spotted on the lawn of a residential home. The demeanor of the snake and its condition indicated the snake is a pet that escaped or was released. (Tampa Tribune)

December 1, 2009 / Palmetto, FL: A woman came home to find an 8-foot-long python coiled underneath a tree in her back yard. A wildlife trapper was called to remove the snake. (WWSB Ch. 7, Sarasota)

November 25, 2009 / Hollywood, FL: A black-tufted marmoset escaped while his guardian was preparing to move to a new home. (The monkey was found two days later.) (Sun-Sentinel)

November 25, 2009 / Tampa Bay, FL: A macaque monkey continues to defy attempts to capture him in a residential neighborhoods in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. The monkey has been spotted in trees and on rooftops in several communities in the past two weeks. State wildlife officials have been in contact with permitted monkey owners in the area, but have not been able to determine where the monkey came from. (St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Tribune)

November 24, 2009 / Citrus Park, FL: A man was arrested on felony animal cruelty charges after Hillsborough County Animal Services investigators found dead and dying boa constrictors, lizards, tarantulas, rabbits and two emaciated wolf-dog hybrids inside a filthy apartment. (WFLA Ch. 8, Tampa; St. Petersburg Times)

November 19, 2009 / Cooper City, FL: State wildlife officers captured a seven-foot-long python in a resident’s backyard. (FWC Weekly Reports)

November 19, 2009 / Miami-Dade County, FL: Two exotic rattlesnakes were confiscated by state wildlife officers from an individual who lacked proper permits to possess the snakes. (FWC Weekly Reports)

November 17, 2009 / Palm Springs, FL: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has reported that, since October, two red-bellied piranhas have been caught in a retention pond. It is believed that the fish were dumped from an aquarium. Piranha are illegal to possess in Florida. (WPTV Ch. 5, West Palm Beach)

November 16, 2009 / Arredondo, FL: A growing number of feral pot-bellied pigs are causing concern for residents of a community outside Gainesville. It is believed that the pigs were once pets who were turned loose by their owners. (Gainesville Sun)

November 7, 2009 / Orlando, FL: It took more than two hours to remove a six-foot boa constrictor who was found coiled around the engine of a Nissan Maxima. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

November 5, 2009 / Naples, FL: A nine-foot boa constrictor who had likely been hit by a vehicle was found dead in a ditch. (FWC Weekly Reports)

October 27, 2009 / Pinecrest, FL: State wildlife officers responded to a call that three pet Capuchin monkeys had escaped from their enclosure. Two of the monkeys were recaptured. The owner was cited for maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe manner. (FWC Weekly Reports)

October 27, 2009 / Vero Beach, FL: A 9-foot-long Burmese python was found slithering in a neighborhood; the snake was captured and brought to a local animal shelter. "It's not as common as in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County," said a spokesperson with the Vero Beach Police Department. "But in the last 15 to 20 years, I've gotten 25 to 30 big constrictors." (Vero Beach Press Journal, WPTV Ch. 5)

October 24, 2009 / Fort Pierce, FL: State wildlife officers removed a 6-foot-long boa constrictor from a tree at a golf course. (FWC Weekly Reports)

October 23, 2009 / Panama City, FL: A construction worker was bit by an albino Burmese python after he attempted to move the snake from a pile of dirt at a home under construction. Paramedics treated the man on the scene. (WJHG Ch. 7, Panama City Beach)

October 22, 2009 / Monroe County, FL: An 8-foot-long Burmese python was captured in the back yard of residential home. (FWC Weekly Reports)Crestview

October 21, 2009 / Crestview, FL: State wildlife officers, responding to a complaint about a "large snake" that had previously escaped from a home, found an uncaged, 11-foot-long, albino Burmese python inside a home. The homeowner was charged with failure to have the required state permit to possess the snake, and for housing the snake in an unsafe manner. (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission news release)

October 19, 2009 / Brooksville, FL: A man painting a fence was knocked down and bitten by a ZeDonk (zebra-donkey hybrid) at Boyett's Grove, a citrus grove/roadside zoo. The man was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for a number of bites on his legs. (Hernando Today)

October 14, 2009 / Casselberry, FL: City workers discovered an 8-foot long boa constrictor outside a home. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

October 12, 2009 / Riviera Beach, FL: Police department volunteers went door to door warning residents to watch out for pythons after a resident reported a 3- to 5-foot long snake on his front porch. (WPBF Ch. 25, Palm Beach Gardens)

October 9, 2009 / Wewahitchka, FL: An 11-foot-long Burmese python escaped from an apartment and was killed in a neighbor's chicken coop. The snake's owner was charged with violating captive wildlife regulations. (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission news release)

October 3, 2009 / Miami, FL: Workers at a nursery stumbled across a 13-foot Burmese python while spraying for weeds; firefighters were called in to capture the snake. (WFOR Ch. 4, Miami)

October 1, 2009: Palm Beach County, FL: State wildlife officers seized a serval cat from an individual who did not have the required permits to possess the animal. (FWC Weekly Reports)

September 24, 2009 / Boca Raton, FL: State wildlife officers seized a serval from a residential home. Neighbors had complained that the large, African cat had escaped from the home at least once in recent weeks. The homeowner did not have the required state permits to possess the animal. (Palm Beach Post)

September 22, 2009 / Largo, FL: A man walking in a city nature preserve found a dead 10-foot reticulated python floating in a pond. (St. Petersburg Times)

September 15, 2009 / Longwood, FL: Seminole County Animal Control responded to a call about a man who moved out of a rental property but left behind a 5-foot-long ball python. (WESH Ch. 2, Orlando)

September 12, 2009 / Hollywood, FL: State wildlife officers responded to a call from a homeowner who saw a large snake in his driveway; after a search the snake, a 5-foot-long ball python, was discovered curled up on the engine of the man's car. (FWC Weekly Reports)

boa constrictorSeptember 12, 2009 / St. Petersburg, FL: After at least two months on the loose, an 11-foot-long red-tailed boa constrictor was spotted and pulled from bushes near a condominium. The snake was first reported to law enforcement in July, but it is unknown how long the snake was on the loose before that. (St. Petersburg Times)

September 11, 2009 / Apopka, FL: State wildlife officers removed an 18-foot-long, 400-pound Burmese python from a home due to concerns about whether the chain-link cage she was in was secure enough to contain her. The homeowner acknowledged that the snake had escaped her enclosure in the past. (Orlando Sentinel)

September 11, 2009 / Cape Coral, FL: A three-foot python was discovered in a bathroom sink. The homeowner suspects the snake is an escapee from a neighbor who bred snakes before being foreclosed on. (WZVN Ch. 7, Fort Myers)

September 10, 2009 / Lakeland, FL: State wildlife officers seized two Burmese pythons—a 17-foot-long, 150-pound female python and an 11-foot male. The snake's owner was cited for failure to have the required state permits to possess the animals. (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release)

September 6, 2009 / Myakka, FL: A 7-foot reticulated python was captured near Myakka State Park. (Sarasota Herald Tribune)

September 3, 2009 / Weston, FL: State wildlife officers spent several days searching for a python who was spotted in a residental neighborhood, but were unable to find the snake. (Sun-Sentinel)

September 3, 2009 / Pahokee, FL: State wildlife officers responded to the escape of a nine-foot albino Burmese python. The snake was recaptured and the owner was cited for inadequate caging and for not having the required permits. (FWC Weekly Reports)

September 2, 2009 / Micanopy, FL: The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced that a Patas monkey kept as a pet escaped from a home two months ago and is believed to be living in a heavily wooded area of Marion County. (Gainesville Sun)

September 1, 2009 / Homestead, FL: Scientists reported that since last summer, 13 Nile monitor lizards and one Colombian tegu, both large reptiles sold as pets, have been caught in and around Homestead Air Reserve Base. (Broward-Palm Beach New Times)

August 25, 2009 / Melbourne, FL: An off-duty firefighter captured a four-foot long monitor lizard near a busy Melbourne intersection. (Florida Today)

August 20, 2009 / Hollywood, FL: A cable worker was bit by a venomous snake outside an apartment building. The snake is believed to be a green mamba, a snake native to Africa and known for its deadly venom. The snake has not been found. (Sun-Sentinel)

August 20, 2009 / Broward County, FL: A state wildlife officer responded to a complaint regarding a large snake in a residential neighborhood. The officer captured an eight-foot Colombian red tail boa constrictor. (FWC Weekly Reports)

August 16, 2009 / Seminole County, FL: A homeowner was surprised to discover a 7-foot-long albino Burmese python outside his home. (Orlando Sentinel)

August 11, 2009 / Key West, FL: A lionfish was captured in the water of Key West, the 10th lionfish caught in the Florida Keys. Lionfish are venomous fish native to the Pacific Ocean but also popular aquarium pets. (Key West Citizen)

August 6, 2009 / Intercession City, FL: State wildlife officers cited a man who was keeping a small alligator in a cage at his home, and for possession of a python without a permit. (FWC Weekly Reports)

August 5, 2009 / Bradenton, FL: Shortly after talking with friends about the rash of loose pythons in Florida, a woman spotted a small ball python in her yard. She called 911 and a local wildlife rehabilitator captured the snake. (Bradenton Herald)

August 4, 2009 / Port Salerno, FL: Deputies removed a 5-foot boa constrictor from the garage of a Port Salerno home. (The Stuart News)

August 1, 2009 / New Port Richey, FL: A couple cleaning a home that had been foreclosed on discovered an 8-foot-long red-tailed boa constrictor who had apparently been abandoned by the previous owner of the home. (St. Petersburg Times)

August 1, 2009 / Daytona Beach, FL: Police responded to 911 calls from concerned residents and captured a boa constrictor spotted crossing a street. The snake, who had been hit by a vehicle, died soon after being captured. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

July 30, 2009 / Okeechobee County, FL: A Burmese python was caught on the property of a veterinary hospital. The snake measured 17-feet-2-inches in length, 26 inches in diameter and weighed 207 pounds. (Fort Myers News-Press)

July 29, 2009 / Lakeland, FL: Two Burmese pythons escaped from their enclosures at an East Lakeland home. State wildlife officers went door to door warning area residents; the snakes were recaptured approx. 14 hours after their escape. (Lakeland Ledger)

July 24, 2009 / Tallahassee, FL: State wildlife officers retrieved two American alligators kept inside an apartment. The tenants were charged with illegal possession of the alligators; the alligators were returned to a local lake. (Tallahassee Democrat)

July 21, 2009 / West Palm Beach, FL: A Burmese python was spotted coiled in the middle of a residential street near downtown. The snake had disappeared by the time a state wildlife officer arrived. (Palm Beach Post)

July 15, 2009 / West Palm Beach, FL: Two pythons were abandoned on the doorstep of a pet store overnight. (WPTV Ch. 5, West Palm Beach)

June 14, 2009 / Cape Coral, FL: Police responding to a domestic violence complaint discovered five live alligators, six pythons and an Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake within a home. A father and son were later charged with 37 misdemeanor charges relating to unlawful possession of the animals. (FWC Weekly Reports)

July 14, 2009 / Orange County, FL: A 12-foot-long Burmese python was found slithering through a residential neighborhood. (Orlando Sentinel)

July 11, 2009 / St. Petersburg, FL: A man arriving at his home in a residential neighborhood discovered a 10-foot-long boa constrictor blocking his driveway. (St. Petersburg Times)

July 10, 2009 / Highlands County, FL: "We pick up a lot of snakes," Highlands County Animal Control Director Darryl Scott told a local newspaper. Since January 2008, the department has handled over 100 snake calls, including a python who got loose while his owner was visiting the area, and a boa constrictor found abandoned in a vacant house. (Highlands Today)

July 5, 2009 / Key Largo, FL: A 9-inch-long lionfish was netted off Key Largo, the eighth—and the largest—lionfish captured in Keys waters since the beginning of the year. (Florida Keys Keynoter)

July 2, 2009 / Hobe Sound, FL: A man discovered a ball python on the running board of his SUV. pythonThe snake was taken to a local wildlife rehabilitation center, where staff said the snake probably had not been loose for very long, and likely escaped or was released. (WPTV Ch. 5, West Palm Beach)

July 1, 2009 / Oxford, FL: An 8-foot-long Burmese python kept inside a home as a pet escaped from a glass aquarium and strangled a 2-year-old girl while she slept. The snake's owner did not have the required state permit. (Orlando Sentinel, Gainesville Sun)

June 30, 2009 / Fort Pierce, FL: A wolf was among many malnourished and dead animals found at a woman's home; she was charged with numerous counts of animal cruelty as well as possession of wildlife without a permit. (WPEC Ch. 12 West Palm Beach)

June 25, 2009 / Duval, Charlotte, Miami-Dade County: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Division of Law Enforcement reported several incidents involving exotic "pets" during the previous week. A wildlife officer in Duval County cited a man who was keeping an alligator in a wooden pen in his backyard (the alligator was released back into the wild); an individual in Charlotte County was cited for possession of a gopher tortoise whose shell had been painted; and in Miami-Dade County, a wholesale fish dealer was cited for unlawful possession of a prohibited species after selling a Trahira to a local pet store. Trahira are large, predatory fish, sometimes called "wolf fish," native to South America. Fifteen of the illegal fish were seized at the dealer's warehouse. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

June 3, 2009 / Dunnellon, FL: A "pet" wolf was reported stolen from an unlocked pen at a home. (Ocala Star-Banner)

May 28, 2009 / Jacksonville, FL: Barking dogs alerted a resident to a 12-foot python in her front yard. The snake was captured and state wildlife officers are investigating. (First Coast News)

May 17, 2009 / Punta Gorda, FL: A police officer found an injured python on US-41; the snake died a short time later at a wildlife rehabilitation center. (WBBH Ch. 2, Fort Myers)

Monitor lizardMay 15, 2009 / Homestead, FL: About a dozen Nile monitor lizards have been trapped near the Homestead Air Reserve Base; the large reptiles are believed to be descendants of pets who were released or escaped into the wild. (WPLG Ch. 10, Pembroke Park)

May 14, 2009 / Pinellas Park, FL: State wildlife officers investigating the discovery of a ten-foot Burmese python learned that the snake had escaped from a home two months earlier. The owner of the snake was charged with violating numerous captive wildlife regulations. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

May 7, 2009 / Estero, FL: State wildlife officers cited a man who offered for sale on Craig's List a Burmese python without the required licenses or PIT tag. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

April 9, 2009 / Big Pine Key, FL: An emu was rescued from a canal. The bird, believed to be an escaped or released pet, is recovering at a local wildlife rescue center. (Florida Keys Keynoter)

April 2, 2009 / Hialeah, FL: An owner of a pet store was cited by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission for selling six lemur monkeys to an individual who did not have the proper permits. The Miami resident who purchased the monkeys was also cited for possession of captive wildlife without a permit. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

March 29, 2009 / New Port Richey, FL: Pasco County Sheriff's deputies who responded to a disturbance at a home found a year-old alligator in a fish tank. A man at the home was arrested for unlawful possession of an alligator, and domestic battery. The alligator was released into a nearby lake. (WFTS Ch. 28, Tampa)

March 12, 2009 / Lehigh Acres, FL: State wildlife officials removed two mountain lions being kept as pets from a home. The animals were kept in a backyard cage that was too small, and one was malnourished due to parasites. A veterinarian who treated the animals told the Naples News, “It’s a shame that those animals end up in people’s back yards. It’s unnatural for the animals to be kept in that type of environment. It’s like putting that kind of animal in solitary confinement.” (Naples News)

March 4, 2009 / Wimauma, FL: Employees at a plumbing business captured an African Nile Monitor. (WTVT Ch. 13, Tampa)

February 1, 2009 / Orlando, FL: State wildlife officers served a search warrant during a Super Bowl party and seized 10 piranhas. The owner was later arrested. It is against the law to sell or possess piranha in Florida. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

January 27, 2009 / Bradenton, FL: A bicyclist riding along the Palma Sola Causeway came upon a green iguana sitting alongside the road. A representative from a local wildlife rescue group who was called to the scene said the iguana had likely been kept as a pet because his claws had been trimmed. (Bradenton Herald)

January 25, 2009 / Buckingham, FL: A farmer claimed to have killed a wolf-dog hybrid that attacked several of his sheep. (WINK-TV, Fort Myers)

January 13, 2009 / Clearwater, FL: State trappers were unsuccessful in trying to capture a rhesus macaque monkey on the loose in a residential area. State wildlife officials said that nobody in the area is licensed to possess a rhesus macaque, so the monkey may have been kept illegally. (Tampa Tribune)

January 6, 2009 / Ocoee, FL: A five-foot long boa constrictor was captured near Ocoee High School. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

January 6, 2009 / Key Largo, FL: A diver spotted a lionfish in the waters off Key Largo. Lionfish are venomous fish native to the Pacific Ocean but also popular aquarium pets. It is believed that lionfish dumped by aquarium owners may now be reproducing locally. (Key West Citizen)

December 18, 2008 / Venice, FL: State wildlife officers cited a homeowner for possessing seven venomous snakes without the proper licenses, and for keeping numerous non-venomous snakes in unsafe/unsanitary conditions. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

December 1, 2008 / Destin, FL: Employees used a garbage can to capture a 4-foot-long boa constrictor discovered at a car dealership. (Northwest Florida Daily News)

November 12, 2008 / Lehigh Acres, FL: A wolf-dog (wolf/German Shepherd hybrid), who was being kept as a pet, was picked-up by Lee County Animal Services after multiple attacks on cows in the area, but escaped from a cage in the Animal Services van and disappeared. Sadly, after a week on the loose, the animal was spotted and killed by police. (WBBH Ch. 2, Fort Myers)

November 11, 2008 / Miami-Dade County, FL: State wildlife agents caught three Burmese pythons within 50 yards of each other in southern Miami-Dade County. The snakes were between nine feet and eleven feet in length. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

November 3, 2008 / Punta Gorda, FL: A 10-foot-long boa constrictor was found wrapped around the engine of a vehicle; it took animal control officers 45 minutes to remove the snake. (WBBH Ch. 2, Fort Myers)

October 22, 2008 / Stuart, FL: A 6-foot-long, Colombian Red-Tail Boa Constrictor was hit by a car as he or she tried to cross a road. The injured snake was taken to a local wildlife rehabilitation center. (WPTV Ch. 5, West Palm Beach)

October 11, 2008 / Stuart, FL: A Blue Mountain rainbow lorikeet, a bird native to Australia, escaped from a home while his cage was being cleaned. (Stuart News)

October 6, 2008 / Jupiter, FL: State wildlife officers captured a 12-foot, 100-pound Burmese python slithering across a road near a shopping center. Officers believe the snake is a released pet. The snake was taken to the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary; in the last week, the sanctuary has also recovered a ball python, carpet python and a boa constrictor. (Palm Beach Post)

October 6, 2008 / Palm Bay, FL: A woman called police for help in removing an eight-foot-long python who was blocking the doorway to her home. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

October 4, 2008 / Palm City, FL: A fifty-pound Siberian Lynx escaped from a screened-in porch at a home in a residential neighborhood. Although the lynx has had her claws removed, the owner told local media, "She's a wild cat at heart," and "I don't know what she's capable of or could do out of fear. I would be careful." (Palm Beach Post, WPTV Ch. 5)

October 3, 2008 / Jacksonville, FL: Two men are facing criminal charges after state wildlife officers found four alligators and a crocodile in a concrete fish pond behind their home. Officers believe the crocodile was stolen from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm; the four alligators were likely taken from the wild. (St. Augustine Record)

September 22, 2008 / Lake Worth Inlet, FL: Divers swimming off the South Lake Worth Inlet spotted a Lionfish, a dangerous fish native to the Indian and western Pacific Oceans but also popular as pets. Scientists have reported increasing numbers of Lionfish in Florida waters. It is believed that they stem from former aquarium pets intentionally released into the ocean. (WPEC Ch. 12, West Palm Beach)

September 18, 2008 / Vero Beach, FL: A 10-foot-long boa constrictor spotted traveling down Old Dixie Highway was captured by an animal control officer. "There is a real problem here with having them as pets," the officer said. (Vero Beach Press-Journal)

September 18, 2008 / Washington County, FL: A Ball Python was impounded by animal control officers; the owner of the snake could not be located. (Foster Folly News)

September 5, 2008 / Myakka City, FL: A 10-foot Burmese python was spotted slithering across the driveway of a Myakka City home. The trapper called to catch the snake said it was the third snake he had picked up this year. Earlier in the week he retrieved a 3-foot Tegu Lizard. (WWSB Ch. 7, Sarasota)

August 24, 2008 / Everglades National Park, FL: Wildlife scientists report that 418 Burmese pythons were captured and removed from Everglades National Park in 2006 and 2007. Over 100,000 pythons have been imported into the United States for the pet trade since 1990. (St. Petersburg Times)

August 24, 2008 / Northwest Florida: State wildlife authorities report that in the past year there have been five instances in which deer, illegally captured from the wild and kept as pets, have either escaped or been abandoned and turned up in neighborhoods and parks. (Florida Today)

August 20, 2008 / Loxahatchee, FL: During severe weather, a lion and a Bengal tiger escaped from a cage at a sanctuary in western Palm Beach County. Both animals were located a few hours later, shot with tranquilizing darts and returned to the cage. During the search, three schools in the area were on lockdown. (Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinel)

August 19, 2008 / Dade City, FL: A woman spotted two monkeys in her backyard. It is suspected that the monkeys may be from a group of Patas monkeys who escaped from an exotic animal park north of Lakeland in April. (Lakeland Ledger)

August 18, 2008 / Fountain, FL: Bay County Sheriff's Deputies used a Taser to subdue a pet emu who had escaped from her enclosure after strong winds knocked down a fence. (Panama City News Herald)

August 7, 2008 / Sebastian, FL: A rhea (a large bird related to the ostrich) was spotted eating plants in a ditch in front of a gas station. The bird, who was kept as a pet, disappeared two weeks ago from a home a few miles away. The bird has not been captured. (WPTV Ch. 5, West Palm Beach)

July 16, 2008 / Boynton Beach, FL: A black-colored fox wearing a harness was captured in a residential neighborhood. The fox, who police believe was being kept as someone's pet, was brought to a wildlife sanctuary. (WPTV Ch. 5, West Palm Beach)

July 3, 2008 / Orange Park, FL: Traps have been set for a monkey who was spotted in a Clay County subdivision. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators believe the monkey is a Japanese or snow macaque. Officials don't know where the animal came from; no one in the neighborhood has a permit to possess a captive macaque. (The Times-Union)

July 3, 2008 / Cocoa, FL: A 5-foot-long python was captured in a tree in Cocoa. (WKMG Ch. 6, Orlando)

June 2008 / Panama City, FL: A baby raccoon who was discovered at a home illegally being kept as a pet is recovering from serious injuries at a local wildlife refuge. The raccoon suffered from a rope tied around her neck and her front paw had to be amputated after getting caught in the restraints. (Destin Log)

June 24, 2008 / Key Largo, FL: A Burmese python was beaten to death by a homeowner who discovered the 7-foot-long snake eating a dove near a feeder in her backyard. According to the Keynoter newspaper, six pythons were captured on North Key Largo in 2007, the first confirmed incidents of pythons in the Keys. (Keynoter)

June 26, 2008 / Orlando, FL: A woman found a 9-and-half-foot long boa constrictor in her back yard. She believes the snake ate her cat. A local trapper called to capture the snake said this was the sixth snake he had captured in the past few months. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

June 14, 2008 / Sanibel, FL: Police responding to a call of a dead alligator floating in a lake instead found a six foot, 40 pound Nile Monitor lizard. (Island Reporter)

June 12, 2008 / Leon County, FL: An emu was spotted walking down the side of County Road 12; the bird had disappeared into nearby woods by the time representatives from a local wildlife rescue organization arrived. (Tallahassee Democrat)

June 8, 2008 / Port Charlotte, FL: A Serval cat was tranquilized and captured by state wildlife officers after escaping from a private home ten days earlier. Charges are pending against the owner. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

May 25, 2008 / Pinellas County, FL: A pacu, a fish native to the waters of the Amazon but also popular in the aquarium trade, was caught by a fisherman on Lake Tarpon. The fish, who was three-feet-long and estimated to weigh 40 pounds, is believed to have been released into the lake after outgrowing an aquarium. (St. Petersburg Times)

May 17, 2008 / St. Augustine, FL: A reticulated python, approx. 10 feet long, was spotted in the middle of a residential road and captured. (St. Augustine Record)

May 16, 2008 / Orlando, FL: A man was removed from a flight at the Orlando International Airport after fellow passengers noticed that the man had brought onboard a small monkey. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

May 12, 2008 / Miami, FL: A wildlife trainer was bit on the leg by a tiger during filming of a music video. Reportedly, the tiger panicked when she got tangled in her chain and started to choke. (Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post)

May 11, 2008 / Columbia County, FL: During a storm a tree branch fell onto a cage housing five monkeys. Two of the monkeys escaped; one was quickly recaptured, the other was captured two days later. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

May 11, 2008 / Panama City, FL: Police officers, responding to a complaint about a man dragging a raccoon by a leash down a city street, arrested a man and charged him with animal cruelty. The man admitted he had trapped the raccoon and was trying to make it his "pet." The raccoon was released back into the wild. (Panama City News-Herald)

May 8, 2008 / Santa Rosa County, FL: A deer wearing a dog collar attacked a 4-year-old girl and her mother who had attempted to pet the animal; state wildlife officers discovered the deer had escaped from a cage at a nearby residence. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

May 5, 2008 / Citrus County, FL: State wildlife officers arrested a man for illegal sale of exotic birds, and for maintaining birds in unsanitary conditions, after an investigation following a complaint about the purchase of sick birds from a website. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

May 3, 2008 / Merritt Island, FL: A captive raccoon escaped from an enclosure and bit his or her "owner." The raccoon was seized by local animal control. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

May 1, 2008 / Bushnell, FL: Jack Hildreth, a collector of exotic snakes, was bit by an Indian cobra at his home in Bushnell. Hildreth was able to dial 911 before losing consciousness; he was flown by medical helicopter to a nearby hospital. In June 2007, a man stole five snakes from Hildreth's backyard "serpentarium." The thief was quickly arrested at a nearby Wal-Mart after he was found bleeding from a snakebite. (Orlando Sentinel)

May 1, 2008 / Monroe County, FL: An eastern diamondback rattlesnake was discovered in a home after the residents had been evicted; the snake's owner was located and cited for failing to possess a venomous reptile permit. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

April 19, 2008 / Lakeland, FL: 15 patas monkeys swam across a small moat, climbed over a fence and escaped from the property of an exotic animal collector in rural Polk County. One week later, the animals had not been recaptured. (Tampa Tribune)

April 17, 2008 / Baker County, FL: Responding to a complaint, state wildlife officers found a bobcat in a cage at a residence. The homeowner was cited for failing to possess a captive wildlife permit and for improper caging. The bobcat was released back into the wild. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

April 8, 2008 / Marathon, FL: A resident reported spotting a 12-foot python near his home. (Keynoter)

April 5, 2008 / Tampa, FL: A resident called police after confronting a three-foot iguana who tried to get inside her home. (WTVT Ch. 13, Tampa)

April 4, 2008 / Orlando, FL: A monkey escaped from a cage inside an Orlando condo and frightened residents before being captured by animal-control officers. The monkey's owner did not have the required state permit to possess the animal. (Orlando Sentinel)

April 3, 2008 / Naples, FL: An eight-foot Burmese python was discovered 30 feet up in the rafters of a Marco Island airport hangar; the snake was removed by a wildlife rehabilitator who noted that dealing with exotic snakes is common, “We’re on calls two, three times a week. People just have [Burmese pythons] as pets and when they get big, they just release them or they escape.” (Naples News)

April 1, 2008 / Jacksonville, FL: A wolf-hybrid, suffering from heartworm and a staph infection and living in horrible conditions, was seized by Jacksonville's Animal Care & Control and brought to a sanctuary to receive care. (First Coast News)

March 29, 2008 / Wellington, FL: A woman was knocked down and mauled by two cheetahs during a fundraising event at a sanctuary. She suffered 40 puncture wounds to her back, arms and legs and was airlifted to a local hospital. A tiger escaped from his cage at the same facility in February 2005. (Palm Beach Post)

March 26, 2008 / Everglades National Park: An 8-foot burmese python was found on March 25 along the Tamiami Trail. The snake was displayed to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson during a visit to Everglades National Park. Hundreds of pythons have been documented in the Everglades. Sen. Nelson is supporting efforts to put the python on the federal list of injurious species, which would make most breeding and importing of the snake illegal. (Fort Myers News-Press, Naples News)

February 20, 2008 / Miramar, FL: A Coatimundi discovered at a construction site has been found a new home at a sanctuary in Texas. The Wildlife Care Center, who cared for the animal after she was found, said that she was likely a former pet. (WFOR Ch. 4 Fort Lauderdale)

February 14, 2008 / Rockledge, FL: 4-foot-long monitor lizard was captured by police; officers were worried about the safety of children at a nearby elementary school. (Florida Today)

February 11, 2008 / Bradenton, FL: New renters discovered a 4-foot-long python beneath a water heater in a home in Bradenton. (Sarasota Herald Tribune)

February 9, 2008 / Davenport, FL: A woman was clawed by a tiger while cleaning a cage at a disreputable "sanctuary" that has been cited numerous times by state wildlife officers for keeping big cats in cages that were too small and unsafe. (Lakeland Ledger)

February 4, 2008 / Manatee County, FL: A 13-foot-long python was caught in a culvert in East Manatee. A wildlife rehabilitator who helped capture the snake told a local newspaper, "Exotics are being found all over the state. I have a Burmese python, a red-tailed boa, a bearded dragon, two tortoises and iguanas that all came from Bradenton after being released and found in people's yards." (Bradenton Herald)

January 24, 2008 / Pinellas County, FL: Two individuals were arrested by state wildlife officers and charged with acquiring venomous snakes by unlawful means; eight snakes were seized during the investigation.(FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

January 12, 2008 / Dunnellon, FL: A woman fishing on the Withlacoochee River hooked a Pacu, a fish native to South America and a relative of the piranha. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer said that the fish likely got into the river when someone emptied their home aquarium into the river. (Ocala Star-Banner)

January 11, 2008 / Key Largo, FL: A 10-foot-long Burmese python was discovered dead on U.S. 1; the snake was the seventh python found in the Florida Keys in the past nine months. (The Key West Citizen)

December 31, 2007 / North Fort Myers: A zebra got loose from a trailer and crossed four lanes of U.S. 41 before being captured about an hour later in a residential neighborhood. The zebra, who was owned by a local petting zoo, suffered injuries to her legs and mouth. (Fort Myers News-Press)

December 7, 2007 / Vero Beach, FL: A man mowing grass on the banks of a canal west of Vero Beach accidentally ran over and killed a 16-foot python. Vero Beach's Animal Control Officer told a local newspaper that the snake was the 20th large python or boa constrictor found in Indian River County in the past 10 years. (Vero Beach Press Journal)

November 27, 2007 / Cape Coral, FL: Police and fire crews found an African Serval Cat trapped in a storm drain. The cat was rescued, but officials have no idea where the cat came from. (WBBH Ch. 2, Fort Myers)

November 24, 2007 / Christmas, FL: A landlord found a Nile monitor lizard in a cage at an abandoned mobile home. (WKMG Ch. 6, Orlando)

November 14, 2007 / Brandon, FL: Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies unsuccessfully searched for a wallaby who was spotted in traffic. (WFTS Ch. 28, Tampa)

October 27, 2007 / Port St. Lucie, FL: A man was hospitalized after one of his pet snakes, a diamonback rattlesnake, bit him on the hand. Word of the bite panicked other residents at the Port St. Lucie condominium complex. One resident told local media about a previous incident in which a cobra had escaped from the man's condo. (Palm Beach Post, WPTV Ch. 5)

October 25, 2007 / Summerland Key, FL: A fourteen-foot python was discovered in the bushes in a parking lot in the Florida Keys. The snake was later claimed by a man who uses the snake to sell photos to tourists in Key West. The man explained that the python had been on the loose for two days; he was cited for allowing the escape of captive wildlife. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

October 24, 2007 / Tallahassee, FL: Four venomous snakes, including a King Cobra, were discovered in an abandoned storage unit. The animals were in poor health and may not have had food or water for weeks. (Central Florida News Ch. 13)

October 22, 2007 / East Naples, FL: Animal control officers are searching for a peacock that was spotted in an East Naples neighborhood. A representative from the Naples Zoo told local media that peacocks can be aggressive and dangerous birds. (WBBH Ch. 2, Fort Myers)

October 8, 2007 / Edgewood, FL: Police and trappers chased a African Nile monitor lizard up a tree, but the reptile eluded capture. Residents believe that at least two of the potentially dangerous reptiles are living in the neighborhood. (Orlando Sentinel)

September 28, 2007 / Panama City, FL: A redtail catfish, an animal who belongs in rivers in South America, was found dead, floating in the water at a local marina. A representative from the National Marine Fisheries Service guessed that the fish had grown too large for someone's aquarium and had been dumped into the ocean. (The News Herald)

September 26, 2007 / Davie, FL: An employee at an exotic reptile wholesale business was bitten by a western diamondback rattlesnake while moving the poisonous snake from one cage to another. The man was rushed to a hospital and is expected to recover. (Sun-Sentinel)

September 26, 2007 / Coconut Creek, FL: Visitors to a Broward County park were alerted by a barking dog to the presence of an 11-foot boa constrictor; a park ranger captured the snake (see photo). (WPLG Ch. 10, Miami)

September 20, 2007 / Collier County, FL: State wildlife officers removed a python from beneath the deck of a private residence. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

September 18, 2007 / Edgewood, FL: Police have received complaints about a 4 1/2-foot monitor lizard who was spotted running through yards in a residential neighborhood. (Orlando Sentinel)

September 16, 2007 / Delray Beach, FL: Firefighters responding to an early morning fire at a warehouse discovered more than 100 boa constrictors, pythons and other snakes. Some of the snakes had escaped from cages that melted from the heat. The warehouse was rented by a man who breeds snakes for the pet industry. (Palm Beach Post)

September 7, 2007 / DeLand, FL: An animal control officer was bit twice while helping to remove a 5-foot boa constrictor from under a woman's car in downtown DeLand. "It's becoming more and more common for us to catch non-indigenous snakes," a DeLand police officer said of the incident. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

August 31, 2007 / Fort Lauderdale, FL: Five-foot long monitor lizard, assumed to be a released pet, was found sunning herself along the Florida Turnpike in Fort Lauderdale. (WFOR Ch. 4, Miami/Fort Lauderdale)

August 30, 2007 / Ichetucknee Springs, FL: A 14' Albino Burmese python was found dead, apparently killed by a wild pig. A week earlier, the pet snake had been reported missing after escaping from a bag in a local resident's truck. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

August 28, 2007 / Punta Gorda, FL: A collector of exotic snakes was bitten by a 4-foot Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. The man, who was rushed by helicopter to a hospital, keeps more than 100 poisonous snakes at his home. (Charlotte Sun-Herald)

August 23, 2007 / Lee County, FL: A 6-foot boa constrictor was discovered on the loose in a neighborhood in San Carlos Park. The snake was the second caught in Lee County that day. Earlier in the day, a 9-foot Burmese python was found and trapped by maintance workers at an apartment complex in Fort Myers. (Fort Myers News-Press)

August 21, 2007 / Oldsmar, FL: Ten venomous snakes and an alligator were found in a garage in Oldsmar; the homeowner was cited for unlawful possession of venomous reptiles, and the animals were seized. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

August 17, 2007 / Cape Coral, FL: State wildlife officers conducted an inspection at a business in Cape Coral and found a capuchin monkey and two marmoset monkeys. The business owner was cited for failing to obtain the proper licenses. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

August 16, 2007 / Gainesville, FL: A man was cited by state wildlife officers for possession of a coatimundi without a permit and for keeping the animal in a substandard cage. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

August 12, 2007 / Gainesville, FL: A family in Gainesville discovered a 4-foot-long ball python inside a bird cage in their back yard; next to the snake was the body of a pet bird who had apparently been killed by the snake. (Gainesville Sun)

August 7, 2007 / Jacksonville, FL: A 3-foot-long Tegu lizard, native to South America, was captured by firefighters in Jacksonville. The animal had dug his way out of an enclosure at a nearby home. (Florida Times-Union)

July 16, 2007 / Holly Hill, FL: A man discovered a 15-foot reticulated python in his backyard; it took two nuisance wildlife trappers to capture and carry the large reptile away. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

July 10, 2007 / Arcadia, FL: Sheriff's officers helped to capture several American buffalo who had escaped from an enclosure at a home in Arcadia. The property owner was cited for possession of eight buffalo without a permit, and for improper fencing. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

June 27, 2007 / Boca Raton, FL: A "jungle cat," believed to be part bobcat, is reported on the loose in west Boca. The animal is suspected of killing several feral cats in the area. (WPEC Ch. 12, West Palm Beach)

June 17, 2007 / Fort Myers, FL: Man discovers 10-foot Burmese python on his patio. (Fort Myers News-Press)

May 10, 2007 / Casselberry, FL: A 4 1/2-foot monitor lizard on the loose has frightened residents of a neighborhood in Casselberry. (Orlando Sentinel)

May 10, 2007 / Merritt Island, FL: Animal control officers are looking for two wolf hybrids that were spotted roaming Merritt Island. (Florida Today)

May 6, 2007 / West Palm Beach, FL: A 7-foot-long monitor lizard was spotted by workers on a service call; efforts to capture the large— and dangerous— reptile were unsuccessful. It is assumed that the animal is a former "pet" who escaped or was released. (WPTV CH. 5, West Palm Beach)

May 4, 2007 / St. Petersburg Beach, FL: A man was cited by wildlife officers for unsafe housing of captive wildlife after an improper cage allowed a "pet" lemur to escape and run at large in the neighborhood. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

April 22, 2007 / Wewahitchka, FL: A woman was trampled to death by her "pet" camel; a week before the incident she had told a local newspaper that she was planning to offer camel rides to area children. (Associated Press)

April 13, 2007 / North Key Largo, FL: A Burmese python was captured in a state park, the first such snake discovered on the island. The snake was euthanized and inside the snake's stomach were the remains of two endangered woodrats. (Keynoter)

April 6, 2007 / Naples, FL: A wallaby kept as a pet got loose from her enclosure and roamed Collier County for three weeks before being captured by state wildlife officers. The animal's owner was ticketed for not reporting the escape; he told a local television station that he ordered eight of the animals on the Internet. (Naples News, WBBH Ch. 2 Ft. Myers-Naples)

March 2007 / Port Richey, FL: 12½-foot Burmese python captured by construction workers near a pond in a residential area. (WTVT Ch. 13, Tampa Bay)

February 7, 2007 / Vero Beach, FL: Animal control officers capture a 10-foot boa constrictor at an apartment complex. (Vero Beach Press Journal)

January 2007 / Port Charlotte, FL: Wildlife officers seized three adult tigers from a store that lacked the appropriate cages or licenses. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

January 2007 / Marion County, FL: A man was cited by wildlife officers for keeping two wolves without a permit, and in tiny and filthy portable kennels. (FWC Field Operations Weekly Reports)

December 29, 2006 / North Miami Beach, FL: 15-foot Albino Burmese python found hiding in an empty apartment, abandoned by a previous tenant. (Miami Herald)

December 11, 2006 / Jacksonville, FL: A "pet" bobcat escaped and spent one week in a tree before being recovered. (WJXT Ch. 4, Jacksonville)

December 7, 2006 / Tampa, FL: Bicyclists on a nature trail discovered a dead 15-foot Burmese python. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

November 18, 2006 / Coral Gables, FL: Cougar mauled a 4-year-old at a birthday party; the child suffered scratches to her face and a severed ear; the cougar, named Georgia (pictured at right), was killed as part of a rabies test. (Miami Herald)

November 1, 2006 / Cooper City, FL: A lemur escaped from a home in Cooper City and scared children playing at a nearby playground. (Miami Herald)

October 3, 2006 / Tampa, FL: An albino monocle cobra bit an employee at a company that breeds reptiles for pet stores. (St. Petersburg Times, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

October 2006 / Davie, FL: A landscaper working at a property in Davie was jumped on, bit and scratched by a wallaby being kept as a pet. (WTVJ Ch. 6, Miramar)

September 12, 2006 / Balm, FL: A tiger attacked a man cleaning the animals cage; the man, a member of a circus family, was sent to the hospital with cuts to his shoulder and face. (St. Petersburg Times)

June 21, 2006 / Boca Raton, FL: 10' boa constrictor trapped in an apartment complex in Boca Raton. (WPEC Ch. 12, West Palm Beach)

February 9, 2006 / St. Petersburg, FL: A marmoset living in a home bit a visitor on the thumb. (St. Petersburg Times, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

January 10, 2006 / Sumter, FL: Cougar strangled with a rope after “caretakers” lassoed the thrashing animal to keep him/her from escaping a breeding facility. (Orlando Sentinel)

November 17, 2005 / Gulfport, FL: A ring-tailed lemur being kept at an auto repair shop scratched a customer, who required 12 stitches in her arm. (St. Petersburg Times)

November 15, 2005 / Stuart, FL: Fisherman caught 11-foot-long Burmese Python. Snake is suspected of being an abandoned “pet.” (UPI)

October 11, 2005 / Miami-Dade County, FL: Python who devoured a turkey at a farm got stuck in a fence. Snake is an abandoned “pet.” (St. Petersburg Times)

October 9, 2005 / Miami-Dade County, FL: 10-to-12-foot-long python devoured 18-pound Siamese cat. Snake is an abandoned “pet.” (Sun-Sentinel)

October 5, 2005 / Miami-Dade County, FL: 13-foot-long Burmese Python burst after swallowing 6-foot alligator in the Everglades. Burmese Pythons dumped by their "owners" have thrived in the wet and hot climate of Florida’s swamps over the past 20 years. (Associated Press)

September 28, 2005 / Mount Dora, FL: Two zebras escaped from their pen and wandered onto highway. The zebras were injured after a truck slammed into them. (WFTV Ch. 9, Orlando)

August 16, 2005 / St. Petersburg, FL: A ring-tailed lemur bit a woman who tried to kiss the animal through a cage. The woman required surgery to her mouth. (St. Petersburg Times, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

February 26, 2005 / Wellington, FL: A 400-pound male tiger escaped from an unlatched cage at a sanctuary. Sheriff’s officers secured the neighborhood while state wildlife officers shot the tiger with tranquilizer darts and returned the animal to his cage. (Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

February 17, 2005 / Englewood, FL: 13-foot-long python was found on a busy street in Englewood. (Sun-Herald)

February 12, 2005 / Tampa Bay, FL: Tiger cub bit woman’s hand during a photo event. The "owner" was charged with unsafe handling of captive wildlife, resulting in injury to person. (St. Petersburg Times)

January 31, 2005 / Vero Beach, FL: Serval was found dragging his left leg through underbrush near sports complex. Animal euthanized after it was determined to have a broken back. (Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers)

November 20, 2004 / St. Augustine, FL: 350-pound Siberian tiger, being walked on leash, attacked and injured 14-year-old boy. Tiger’s "owner" was also attacked and injured when he attempted to pull tiger off boy. Incident was brought under control only after two police officers fired Taser stun guns at tiger. (Associated Press)

November 13, 2004 / Port St. Lucie, FL: Entertainer Vanilla Ice’s "pet" wallaroo escaped. Animal was later found. (Palm Beach Post)

November 6, 2004 / Sarasota, FL: 18-year-old was bitten by bear while trying to break up aggressive behavior among several captive bears. Man was flown to hospital for medical treatment. (Tampa Tribune)

October 28, 2004 / Holiday, FL: A dusky pygmy rattlesnake bit a man who was attempting to feed the reptile. The man was not licensed to possess the snake. (St. Petersburg Times, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

July 23, 2004 / Vero Beach, FL: 16-foot-long Burmese Python was captured on city street after passing motorist spots the animal. Animal Control officer suspected snake escaped or was let loose. (Associated Press)

July 12, 2004 / Loxahatchee, FL: "Bobo," a 600-pound tiger, escaped from his enclosure, frightening neighbors and causing a media frenzy. One day later the tiger was located and shot to death by a state wildlife officer. (Palm Beach Post )

May 1, 2004 / Silver Springs, FL: Adult brown bear bit caretaker’s arm; caretaker was hospitalized for treatment. (WESH-Ch. 2, Orlando)

April 22, 2004 / Lakeland, FL: Two “pet” wolf-hybrids attacked and killed neighbor’s dog after they escaped. These hybrids are two of 16 wolf-hybrids kept on the property. (Lakeland Ledger)

April 12, 2004 / East Manatee, FL: Two giant pythons were found in a ditch by county workers. The snakes were likely released by their owners or escaped their enclosures, although no one reported them missing. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

February 17, 2004 / Dade City, FL: "Pet" cougar was found lounging near neighbor’s pool. Animal's owner retrieved animal without incident, but she had to appear in court for allowing the cougar to escape. (Tampa Tribune)

(date unknown), 2004 / Vero Beach, FL: 16-foot Burmese python found in a residential neighborhood. (Vero Beach Press Journal)

December 7, 2003 / Brooksville, FL: A cougar bit a delivery man who stuck his hand in the animal's cage. (St. Petersburg Times, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

August 27, 2003 / Tampa, FL: 12-foot-long Burmese Python escaped from his enclosure. (Tampa Tribune)

August 16, 2003 / Town and Country, FL: Man rushed to hospital after his "pet" mamba snake bit him half-dozen times on forearm and wrist. The man possesses 26 poisonous snakes and 4 small crocodiles in his mobile home. Four small children also reside in mobile home. (Tampa Tribune)

August 12, 2003 / Tampa, FL: First-grader was bitten by pygmy rattlesnake. (Tampa Tribune)

July 29, 2003 / Tampa, FL: 6-foot-long Boa constrictor escaped from his cage. (Tampa Tribune)

July 28, 2003 / Manatee County, FL: 12-foot-long Burmese Python escaped from enclosure and was found next day. (Bradenton Herald)

July 14, 2003 / Panama City, FL: 10-foot-long Burmese Python was found near fish pond. Animal Control captured snake. (Associated Press)

June 6, 2003 / Rockledge, FL: 80-pound Burmese Python escaped from his cage and wrapped tightly around the leg of his owner's mother. Paramedics freed the woman. (Tallahassee Democrat)

January 31, 2003 / Fort Myers, FL: Man was hospitalized and given 10 vials of antivenin after his "pet" cobra bit him on the stomach. (Associated Press)

January 15, 2003 / Miami, FL: Exotic cat was found along highway. Cat's owner claimed animal had been stolen. (WSVN-Ch. 7, Miami)

December 19, 2002 / Bradenton, FL: 15-inch alligator was reported missing from local pet store. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

November 12, 2002 / Tampa, FL: A coral cobra bit a man while the snake was being fed. (St. Petersburg Times, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

October 17, 2002 / Southport, FL: African lion attacked and seriously injured caretaker at a roadside zoo. The man spent two weeks on life support, but survived. (Panama City News Herald)

October 14, 2002 / Bishop, FL: Woman discovered 8-foot-long "pet" python in her backyard. (Bradenton Herald)

August 29, 2002 / Tampa, FL: "Pet" kinkajou scratched and bit three children. Judge ordered animal to be euthanized to determine if he had rabies. (WFLA-Ch. 8, Tampa)

July 23, 2002 / Okaloosa County, FL: Escaped emu was killed after chasing dog and harassing others. (WKMG-Ch. 6, Orlando)

May 1, 2002 / Leesburg, FL: Four Burmese Pythons who escaped their cage are recovered the next day in closet of nearby home. (Orlando Sentinel)

April 11, 2002 / The Redlands, FL: "Pet" monkey escaped. (WFOR-Ch. 4, Miami)

March 27, 2002 / Boynton Beach, FL: Capuchin monkey escaped his home and was found one mile away in tree house. (Sun-Sentinel)

February 11, 2002 / Tampa, FL: "Pet" bison escaped from his enclosure. (WTSP-Ch. 10, Tampa)

February 3, 2002 / Loxahatchee, FL: 750-pound "pet" tiger bit the head of a 58-year-old woman. The woman was hospitalized in critical condition with a skull fracture. (Palm Beach Post)

January 17, 2002 / Hollywood, FL: 12-year-old boy lost tip of finger when his "pet" iguana bit it off. (San Antonio Express-News)

January 16, 2002 / Palm Beach County, FL: 31-year-old man was bitten by captive Diamondback rattlesnake. He received treatment at a nearby hospital. (Sun-Sentinel)

December 9, 2001 / Davie, FL: 7-year-old boy was taken to hospital for stitches after being attacked and bit "bone-deep" on neck by 40-pound declawed African serval. The child was walking by when the serval leapt on him and knocked him to the ground. (Associated Press)

October 26, 2001 / Gainesville, FL: Man bit by coral snake was in stable condition after receiving antivenin. It is uncertain how man came to be bit by the snake, but it was presumed that snake was his "pet." (Associated Press)

October 13, 2001 / Jacksonville, FL: 10-1/2-foot albino boa snake latched onto wrist of man and would not let go. Snake was killed to free man. (Florida Times-Union)

October 5, 2001 / Orlando, FL: 13-foot-long king cobra was found in garage. After 4 hours of trying to capture the snake, homeowner shoots snake. Owner ticketed for failing to keep snake in safe and secure environment. (St. Petersburg Times)

October 03, 2001 / Pompano, FL: Woman was bit by 5-foot-long Monaco cobra snake and fell into a coma. Snake's owner did not have permit to keep snake and did not accompany woman to hospital to inform medical personnel what type of antivenin to use. Owner was charged with 4 misdemeanors for owning and improperly storing the snake. (Sun-Sentinel)

September 27, 2001 / Palm Harbor, FL: Man was bitten on hand by captive coral snake. (St. Petersburg Times)

August 31, 2001 / Boynton Beach, FL: 12-foot python escaped and was loose for more than 3 weeks. Snake was found on September 19 in neighbor's backyard. (Sun-Sentinel)

August 13, 2001 / Clearwater, FL: 11-foot Burmese Python escaped from his backyard cage and was loose for two days. Snake remained in custody of "reptile trapper" who caught the snake pending outcome of investigation into captive living conditions and what led to his escape. (St. Petersburg Times)

July 31, 2001 / Center Hill, FL: 500-lb. male Siberian tiger fatally mauled workman. Tiger was shot by owner. (Associated Press)

May 18, 2001 / Little Torch Key, FL: "Pet" mountain lion escaped from her enclosure and was seen roaming neighborhood. Mountain lion was later captured and returned to her enclosure. (News Barometer)

February 28, 2001 / Miami, FL: "Pet" jungle cat escaped his enclosure. (WSVN-Ch. 7, Miami)

January 3, 2001 / Fort Lauderdale, FL: Wolf-hybrid escaped and was loose in Fort Lauderdale for more than three weeks. (Miami Herald)

November 7, 2000 / Silver Springs, FL: 11-foot Burmese Python was found along busy state highway. Snake was hit by car and rescued by passerby. (Miami Herald)

May 30, 2000 / Pensacola, FL: Orangutan escaped when cage door left unlocked, and then attacked and bit caretaker who tried to coax the animal back inside. Caretaker treated at local hospital for bruises and bite wounds. (Pensacola News Journal)

August 3, 2000 / Southwest Ranches, FL: "Pet" monkey bit two teenage girls after he escaped from home. Girls sustained bites to arms and faces. (Miami Herald)

May 18, 2000 / Keystone Point, FL: "Pet" African serval escaped from his home and scared neighboring family before he was re-captured. (Miami Herald)

January 15, 2000 / Palm Harbor, FL: "Pet" spider monkey escaped from his cage, found his way to neighborhood park and attacked a Siberian husky. The dog required surgery for his injuries. (Associated Press)

December 9, 1999 / Hernando County, FL: Homemade trap captured "pet" cougar missing for more than 10 months. Cougar had been eating livestock in the area. (St. Petersburg Times)

October 27, 1999 / Hernando, FL: 6-year-old girl was attacked by "pet" cougar while playing outside friend's house. Cougar was on 8-foot chain leash bolted to floor when he grabbed hold of girl. The girl required 12 stitches. (St. Petersburg Times)

September 30, 1999 / Tarpon Springs, FL: "Pet" wallaby was on the run after escaping from her pen. (St. Petersburg Times)

August 6, 1999 / Fruitland Park, FL: Man's 13-foot "pet" python squeezed his 18-month-old son nearly to death. Boy was bitten in face and required plastic surgery to repair damage to his eye. (Orlando Sentinel)

July 30, 1999 / Kissimmee, FL: "Pet" monkey escaped from his cage by chewing rope used to hold cage door shut and roamed neighborhood. The monkey jumped on a 13-year-old boy's leg, scratching him. Monkey then bit police officer and pulled hair of another before he was captured. (Orlando Sentinel)

June 10, 1999 / DeLand, FL: Monitor lizard measuring almost 6 feet was loose in residential neighborhood before police shoot the lizard. Reptile suspected to be someone's "pet." (Dayton Beach News-Journal)

April 15, 1999 / Punta Gorda Isles, FL: Rhesus monkey was loose in mobile home park and acting aggressively toward residents. Police officer used 12-gauge shotgun to shoot the "pet" monkey. (Sarasota Herald Tribune)

January 13, 1999 / Tampa, FL: "Pet" Capuchin monkey, while apparently kissing and hugging her owner, started nipping the woman under her chin. As the woman attempted to put the monkey back in her cage, she was attacked and bit 50 times. Woman suffered bites to hands, arms and right leg, and required stitches. (St. Petersburg Times)

December 29, 1998 / Chiefland, FL: Siberian tiger cub was found alongside highway after apparently falling or jumping from trailer. Veterinarian at wildlife rehabilitation center found several sores on cub's body that did not appear consistent with fall onto roadway. (Miami Herald)

November 13, 1998 / Gainesville, FL: White Bengal tiger killed owner by biting her in the neck while she hand-fed him. The tiger was then killed by police (St. Petersburg Times)

October 7, 1998 / Gainesville, FL: Tiger described in 11/13/98 incident killed trainer after being startled while being moved from one cage to another. (Reuters)

September 29, 1998 / Gainesville, FL: 5-foot-long "pet" python bit woman's fingers as she attempted to touch the snake. The snake knotted himself around woman's lower forearm and only let go when firefighters discharged three blasts of carbon dioxide into snake's face. (Boca Raton News)

September 2, 1998 / Tampa, FL: A volunteer at a sanctuary was mauled by a black leopard after she got too close to the animal's cage; the woman required 451 stitches to her arm. (St. Petersburg Times)

September 27, 1997 / Palm Beach County, FL: Man was charged with five misdemeanor wildlife charges after his "pet" macaque monkey bite a girl. One charge included trying to illegally sell monkey after the incident. The monkey harbors the herpes B virus, and was to be tested to determine if virus was active. (Sun-Sentinel)

July 10, 1997 / Pompano Beach, FL: Woman awoke in middle of night with 5-1/2-foot rainbow boa constrictor across her shoulders and legs. Police captured boa. Presumably snake is lost "pet." (Sun-Sentinel)

March 19, 1997 / Orlando, FL: Tiger mauled caretaker, severely mangling the man's leg. (Associated Press)

January 5, 1997 / Sarasota, FL: A "pet" cougar bit the hand of a woman who had been assured by a handler that the animal was tame. The bites caused serious injury. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

   
 

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