MIAMI (AP) — A woman whose python posed with tourists strolling through Miami Beach is now fighting deportation after Florida wildlife authorities stopped her for illegal display and called immigration officials to check her status.
The Miami Herald reports that Maria Valdez Moreno received a warning from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers investigating the non-licensed display of exotic animals. The officers called U.S. Border Patrol when she wasn’t able to show her legal status in the country.
Miami Beach code enforcement officers charged Moreno and a friend who was with her $250 each. The pair charged tourists $10 for posing with the 4-year-old ball python named Penelope.
The Colombian-born woman is now in a detention center on suspicion she overstayed her visa. Her snake was confiscated by FWC.