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Through Survey, FWC Wants Public's Help In Deciding Rules About Venomous Reptiles

A monocled cobra, an example of a non-native venomous reptile
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida wildlife officials are asking the public for their help in deciding rules for venomous reptiles.

Through an online survey, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has six questions for the public about non-native and native venomous reptiles. For example, FWC’s Captive Wildlife Section Captain Kara Hooker says it asks 'should they be kept in zoos?'

“What is your opinion of a native venomous reptile being kept in captivity in Florida,” she continued  “We just kind of ask basically ‘do you think they should be kept in Florida?’ Should they be in residential areas? Should there be a use requirement, like should they only be for commercial use? We also ask for nonnative venomous reptiles? And, it’s the same qualifications.”

Hooker says based on the survey responses, her agency is hoping to present their findings to the FWC commission at their September meeting.

“This past year, we’ve had two Cobra escapes and the commissioners at the April meeting directed us to look at the venomous reptile rule and in doing so, we formed a technical assistance group and they’re more like two-person cells or researchers…So, we’re trying to get just a general consensus as well so we can put those opinions in out packet that we present to the commissioners,” Hooker added.

The online survey will close next Wednesday, July 27 th. For more information, visit the FWC’s website.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner .

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