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:
If you operate a vessel and have an accident, you may not leave the scene without giving all possible aid to others. You also must report the accident to the proper authorities.

Learn More at AskFWC