Shane Lawrence and his brother-in-law Joe Williamson go fishing off a boat dock near the Denison Dam all the time. They often wade into the water — in the middle of the night — to have the best chance at a bite.
“I said look, you need to get out of the water and get out of the water now! Its head was about that big around and it was green and it was anywhere from 16 foot to 20 foot long,” Lawrence said.
The men say spotlights helped them identify what they believe was a green Anaconda, typically found in South America. Turns out, their claims may hold more water than you think.
In 2007, the state passed a law to address the problem of non-native snakes in Texas. Under the law, any person possessing a snake non-native to Texas must have a permit. Releasing one of those snakes into the wild is punishable by a fine of between $500 and $4,000, and up to one year in jail.
Authorities in Florida say invasive pythons have become a major problem because owners who don’t want them anymore release them into the Everglades.
Dale Moses is a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. While he says he’s never received a report of any snake like Lawrence and Williamson describe, he says it’s possible.
Regardless, he says, it’s a reminder to pet owners that letting loose unwanted non-native snakes into the wild is never a good idea.
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