Massive Python Spared

POSTED: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 8:49am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:59pm

Speedbump, a 16-foot Burmese python, went from pet to an Orlando sanctuary exhibit over the weekend. Until now, the 200-pound snake has been the beloved pet of Tim Smith of Sorrento in Lake County, Florida. But on Saturday, Smith showed up at pet amnesty day at Orlando's Gatorland and after talking with Fish and Wildlife officials, he decided it was in his best interest to give up the snake.

Now, Speedbump will become a featured star of Gatorland's new Burmese Python exhibit set to open up in just a few days. Smith said he really wanted to keep the snake, but new state laws require owners of such large pythons to purchase a special permit and to get the snake microchipped. Smith said he couldn't afford to comply with the law and rather than risk being arrested and possibly having his snake euthanized, he decided to give her up.

Gatorland has promised Smith he can visit Speedbump whenever he likes. Several other snakes surrendered at pet amnesty day were given to licensed adopters who were approved in advance by Fish and Wildlife.