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Lawmakers stick tongue out at reptiles

A bill banning the sale of Burmese pythons and other invasive reptiles is snaking up through Legislative committee.

Think that was a bad pun?

Well, there were many more at a Policy Council meeting on Tuesday, when Rep. Trudi Williams (R-Ft. Myers) introduced the bill prohibiting the sale and import of pythons and other so-called "reptiles of concern," which have been known to disrupt the natural circle of life when owners tire of them and loose them in the Everglades.

Among the highlights of the discussion was a revelation from Rep. Faye Culp (R-Tampa) that she and her family once owned a Burmese python she swears grew up to 18 feet. When her fellow council members doubted, she stood up an stretched her arms to show how long she remembered her old pet as being.

"That's about twelve feet,'' a member said, to a few chuckles in the chambers.

The measure will also be examined in the general government policy council and the natural resources appropriations committee, but cleared the Policy Council easily. When the vote was taken, each member affirmed their support with a mocking reptile sound and said: "Yesssssss."

Boo. Or shall we say, hiss?