Oakland Zoo took in three Amazon tree boas after the snakes were confiscated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The smuggled snakes could not be returned to the wild after they were taken from South America and illegally imported into the Port of Miami.
“Animals illegally imported from the wild and into the pet trade are subjected to horrific conditions during the transport including overcrowding, extreme temperatures, and little to no sanitation, leading to a very low survival rate,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “This is also a primary cause of many species becoming endangered. When looking for pet reptiles or birds, owners should only purchase animals that are captive bred and ensure that they are dealing with a reputable source. The best option is to work with a rescue organization.”
Guests to the zoo can see the new snakes at the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Room daily from 10am-4pm.
In the wild, Amazon tree boas are common in forests with high humidity, like the Amazon rainforest. They also inhabit dry areas, like savannas or dry forests, and along rivers. They hunt at night using infrared sensitivity and during the day using vision. While they are aggressive in nature, they are non-venomous.