Worst Places for Animal Attacks
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.