Betsy is a two year old Burmese python who was brought to Orlando Science Center’s NatureWorks team by the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) after she was discovered during a python roundup.
Normally found in Southeast Asia, Burmese pythons are a nonnative and invasive species in Florida, posing a huge threat to the Everglades ecosystem as they can grow up to 20 feet long and have an enormous appetite. For this reason, the FWC has begun the Python Permit Program which allows Floridians to capture and/or humanely kill Burmese pythons without a permit.
We welcomed Betsy with open arms and she has now become one of NatureWorks’ animal ambassadors for invasive and nonnative species. With our new exhibit LIFE on the horizon, Betsy will have a permanent home built for her here so she can continue to educate guests on the importance of responsible pet ownership to prevent new introductions of invasive exotic animal species.
Although the Python Permit Program is sanctioned, our NatureWorks team advises all our guests to never go near a snake in the wild! If you suspect you see a Burmese python due to its tan coloring with dark puzzle piece looking blotches along the back and sides, call the Florida Wildlife Commission and report its location.
Meet Betsy in NatureWorks on your next visit to learn more about nonnative, invasive and native species in Florida.