By Christina Wilkie - 11/02/09 11:45 PM EST
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security will hold a hearing on Meek’s proposal that the constricting snakes be added to a government list of “injurious” animals.
In May, Meek led a group that included Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense More automakers admit to equipping new cars with defective airbags GOP warming up to Cuba travel MORE (D-Fla.) and Assistant Secretary of the Interior Tom Strickland on a tour of the Everglades to assess the python problem.
“Invasive snakes, particularly Burmese Pythons, have devastated Florida’s delicate ecosystem,” Meek told ITK. “They represent a major public safety threat.”
In September, authorities discovered a 400-pound python living in the backyard of Apopka, Fla., resident Melvin Cheever.
The python, Delilah, belonged to Cheever’s brother Bob, and ate seven rabbits for breakfast on the morning authorities removed her.
ITK spoke to Melvin and Bob Cheever, who report that Delilah has been safely transferred to a zoo that recently lost its big reptile. The Cheevers oppose the python ban, arguing that containment, not an outright ban, is the best strategy for controlling the snakes.