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Worst Places for Animal Attacks

Snakes & Reptiles, Everglades

Chris Johns/National Geographic Stock

Florida: Snakes and Reptiles

Over the past 10 years, South Florida has become a popular dumping and breeding ground for some 200 species of exotic pets, including huge Nile monitor lizards and deadly anacondas and boa constrictors. Bites from exotic venomous species are so frequent that Miami-Dade developed a Venom Response Unit and trained its staff to identify exotic species. Since 1998, it has received 1,039 bite calls, and since 2000, 367 Burmese pythons (one killed a two-year-old in Oxford, Florida, in 2009) have been removed from the Everglades.

Survival Tip: If a poisonous snake bites you, it’s important to identify the species, so you get the right antivenin.

Safe Spotting: To see some exotic iguana, take a self-guided tour of Southwest Florida’s Gasparilla Island trail, Florida’s first rail-trail and home to a (less dangerous) invasive colony of black spinytail iguana.


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