Authorities have seized and confiscated a constrictor python whose owner was displaying it at Jabal Amman’s Rainbow Street over the weekend.
Passers-by complained to the Public Security Department/Rangers about a 20-year-old man who was charging people money to take photos with the snake.
The Rangers alerted the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), which seized and confiscated the python.
“The non-venomous constrictor python is 1.2 metres long. Its original country hasn’t been identified yet because its owner didn’t have any certificates of health or origin, which indicates that the python was smuggled into the Kingdom,” Abdul Razzaq Hmoud, head of RSCN’s law enforcement section, told The Jordan Times on Sunday.
The RSCN has handed the reptile over to the Maawa Foundation, a local animal welfare institution that rehabilitates smuggled animals and sends them back to their homeland in coordination with animal welfare societies worldwide.
Hmoud noted that the reptile was seized because entry, possession, sale or purchase of pythons in Jordan has been banned for over a year now.
He underscored that pythons are not allowed in the Kingdom because they require health examinations and monitoring among other measures that are not yet available in Jordan.
“Pythons must be checked before entering the country because they can transmit diseases. In addition, if they escape they can cause panic or reproduce in the wild and become an invasive species,” Hmoud highlighted.
He added that pythons are also listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
CITES aims at ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival, according to its website, which indicated that around 5,000 species of animals and 28,000 types of plants are protected against over-exploitation through international trade.
Hmoud believes that the python was smuggled into the country when it was a baby, noting that its length could reach up to three metres when fully mature.
He said the RSCN and the Rangers previously seized and confiscated 150 baby snakes, which were only a few centimetres long, from a pet shop.
The conservationist called on the public to cooperate in protecting wild and endangered animals by reporting people who keep or sell wild animals, such as monkeys, reptiles, cheetahs and lions, noting that they also can transmit diseases.