Rare Snake From Puerto Rico Found In Florida Shipment

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s hotline for reporting sightings of invasive species led to the recovery of an endangered snake native to Puerto Rico.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a Tampa company recently called authorities after finding what its employees thought was a Burmese python in a shipment of electronics from Puerto Rico.

Wildlife experts dispatched to take the snake into custody realized it wasn’t one of the invasive pythons that’s become the scourge of Florida. Instead, they discovered the snake was either a Puerto Rican boa or a Mona Island boa. It’s hard to tell those apart without a DNA test, but both species are endangered on their native Caribbean island.

State officials are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to return the snake to Puerto Rico.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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