Microchip in large python identifies owner
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-227-3830
An electronic scan detected a required microchip
identification tag in a 14-foot, 6-inch African rock python
discovered Jan. 27 sunning itself in a wooded area near a Tarpon
Springs apartment complex. The Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC), which has strict regulations for the
care and ownership of this nonnative species, said the chip
revealed the snake belongs to Scott Konger, owner of Tarpon Springs
Konger, who had a permit to own the snake, reported
the snake stolen in 2009 from his business at the Tarpon Springs
"When the snake was reported stolen, Mr. Konger was
in compliance with all requirements of ownership, and there were no
indications that he violated Florida law. As a result, no citations
have been issued to Mr. Konger in this the case," said Lt. Steve
DeLacure, the FWC's lead investigator in the case.
According to FWC records, Konger does not currently
have a valid permit for the snake, but he may reapply for a permit.
For the time being, the snake will remain at the permitted facility
where it is currently being housed.
The African rock python species - Northern African
and Southern African - are two of eight species of lizards and
snakes classified as "conditional species," with stringent
requirements for ownership. In addition to the required microchip,
commonly called a "PIT tag," FWC-permitted owners are required to
have cages that meet specific size, design, locking and safety
standards; have a critical incident plan for emergencies; and
In the wild, Northern and Southern African pythons
(rock pythons) are a threat to pets and wildlife, but they
generally avoid humans.
Anyone having information regarding the theft of
this animal can report it to the Wildlife Alert Hotline at
888-404-3922. Citizens who report violations of wildlife laws can
remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward if the
information leads to an arrest.
If you would like more information on conditional
species, visit MyFWC.com/Nonnatives.