Giant snake imports banned in U.S.


Pythons have become a major problem in the Florida Everglades, where up to 10,000 are estimated to live.

But importing those snakes will soon be illegal, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has moved to prohibit imports of all giant snakes.

On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a U.S. ban on four species of pythons. Included on the list is the  notorious Burmese python, an invasive species so big -- some are 26 feet long and weigh 200 pounds -- they've been known to eat deer and alligators and have created an environmental menace in the Florida Everglades.

Salazar said, "The action that we're taking today is a milestone for us and the protection of the Everglades."

However, it's bad news for some reptile owners like Greg Graziani, an exotic snake breeder in Venice, Fla., who has 300 of these snakes and sells them online.

For Mark Strassman's full report, plus a discussion with Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, check out the video above.

  • Mark Strassmann
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.