Going Wild: The Burmese PythonUPDATED 7:26 PM HST Jun 27, 2014Video Transcript
It is one of the largest snake species on earth. Burmese Pythons are native to Southeast Asia -- but are finding their way to the United States. KITV 4's Ashley Moser has more on how these guys are "Going Wild." 19-23 28-33 Meet George -- at 40 pounds and 4 feet long he may look big and scary but keepers say he's harmless. Originally confiscated on the Big Island after someone was caught trying to smuggle him in as a pet. He now calls the Honolulu Zoo home and is used to educated others about his species. 42:42 "THERE'S A LOT OF LEGEND THAT SWIRLS AROUND SNAKES THAT THEY'RE SLIMY, THEY'RE EVIL. BUT REALLY THEY'RE JUST LIKE ANY OTHER ANIMAL." 42:50 Ashley Standup 35:30 "GEORGE IS ALBINO THAT MEANS HIS SKIN HAS A LACK OF MELANIN. YOU CAN SEE THAT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE HE'S YELLOW. NORMALLY HE'D BE A BLACK OR BROWN." 35:39 But keepers say although beautiful -- their bold skin is not always a good thing. Rebecca 47:07 "IN THE WILD THAT WOULD BE A HINDRANCE BECAUSE IT MAKES HIM STAND OUT ON THE JUNGLE FLOOR WHEN ALL HE WOULD REALLY WANT TO DO IS BLEND IN." 47:17 And to keep his skins fresh and clean -- he sheds every 3 to 4 months! Rebecca 47:37 "EVERYTHING COMES OFF THE TOP LAYER OF SKIN INCLUDING THE TOP LAYER OF HIS EYE." 47:42 47:57 HE ACTUALLY ROLLS IT DOWN HIS BODY SO IT LOOKS LIKE -- IF YOU CAN IMAGINE -- PANTYHOSE." 48:04 Keepers say they aren't certain about his gender but because of his small size they believe he is male. He only eats one guinea pig each week but keepers are often asked if humans are involved in his diet. Rebecca 45:35 "HUMANS REALLY ARE NOT A NATURAL PREY ITEM FOR THEM AND THEY ARE INTIMIDATED BY US AND WOULD JUST PREFER TO STEER CLEAR OF US." 45:42 But there's a growing problem on the mainland. Keepers say although they fear humans -- these guys are spotted all over states like Florida because owners are getting rid of their pets by releasing them into the wild. Rebecca 44:24 "THEY PROBABLY OUTGREW THEIR TANKS AND THEIR OWNERS DIDN'T WANT TO KEEP THEM ANYMORE. RELEASED INTO THE EVERGLADES AND REEKING BIOLOGICAL HAVOC." 44:32 And if released into Hawaii's rainforest -- keepers say it would be devastating to our native wildlife. Ashley Moser KITV 4 News. Burmese Pythons are not poisonous -- but have a mean bite! Keepers say owning them as pets is not a good idea -- and is also illegal. If you know of any "pet snakes" here in Hawaii -- please report them to the Department of Agriculture.