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Florida forest snake likely a released pet

Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:50 PM

OCALA, Fla., Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A 7-foot boa constrictor captured in Florida's Ocala National Forest was likely a pet released into the wild, experts said.

Robert Robins of the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, said the boa constrictor caught Sunday was likely a former pet and not a wandering member of the wild breeding colonies in the Everglades, which were also started by released pets, Ocala.com reported Tuesday.

Robins said it was unlikely snakes would establish breeding populations in Marion County and the Ocala National Forest due to occasional cold weather.

"I wouldn't go out on a limb and say they couldn't become established," he said. "Boa constrictors have a large range that extends from Central America to Argentina. Some are more cold tolerant than others."

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