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Green Anaconda Believed to be Loose, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Called on to Help Prevent Future Incidents

New Jersey residents have reported seeing a giant green snake on Lake Hopatcong, a popular recreational area in northwest New Jersey. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement:

“A giant 16-foot green anaconda, probably an escaped or released pet, is in the Lake Hopatcong region – the latest in an extraordinary litany of cases around the nation of giant constricting snakes being found in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a federal rule to ban the import and interstate trade in green anacondas, reticulated pythons, boa constrictors and two other large constricting snakes, and it should delay no longer and ban the trade in these exotic species. It’s insane that we allow these powerful, adaptable animals to flourish in the pet trade.”

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey concluded these snakes pose a risk to people, native wildlife and ecosystems. USFWS is accepting comments through July 24, 2014, on whether to add boa constrictor, reticulated python, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, green anaconda and Beni anaconda as injurious species under the Lacey Act.

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, 301-548-7793, namini@humanesociety.org