“This is the story of the invasion of the snakes in the United States of America,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday, standing near a live python at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
He said the Burmese python and the other “alien snakes” are diestroying some of the nation’s most treasured — and most fragile — ecosystems.
New York is the biggest point of entry in the U.S. for imported wildlife, the secretary said. The ban covers any kind of import of invasive snakes into the U.S.
In 2009, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Inspectors at Kennedy handled more than 27,000 separate wildlife shipments valued at more than $1 billion, or 16 percent of all U.S. wildlife imports.
Last year, 54,000 live reptiles entered through the New York airport.
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