Forget glitter bombs or dog poop. Now you can mail your enemy a huge, man-eating python.
A Washington, D.C., circuit court decided Friday that it is no longer a federal crime to ship both reticulated pythons and green anacondas within the 49 continental states.
Reticulated pythons are the world’s longest snakes and among the three heaviest. These snakes can grow to a length of more than 20 feet and reproduce through a creepy-ass process called “parthenogenesis,” which basically means they don’t need to have sex and a bunch of baby snakes hatch from the female’s unfertilized egg.
The pythons paralyze their prey by wrapping themselves around them, squeezing like crazy, then swallowing them whole. They mostly eat prey that’s up to a quarter their own length—so, around five feet, or the height of your average fifth grader. Attacks on humans are “rare,” but just last week, a 23-foot reticulated python swallowed a man in Indonesia whole.
Now, let’s say you just want a pet. What do you do when your cute baby anaconda turns into a 400-pound behemoth? Release it into the wild, where it’ll probably eat a deer or something before it gets killed by professional snake hunters. That’s not a joke: every year, disgruntled pet owners release their snakes into the Florida Everglades, and the state’s government pays snake hunters to kill them, as pythons are an invasive species. Earlier this week, hunters wrangled a 15-foot Burmese python, a species that is smaller (yes, smaller) than the reticulated pythons you can now mail to your frenemy in Alaska or wherever.
Well, thank goodness for that. BRB, moving to Hawaii.