Dangerous Unconventional Pets

People have lots of different reasons for wanting to buy the snakes and other creatures, MacInnes explained. "We sell to zoos and aquariums, and [to] people for display. We sell to venom labs. We also sell to private collectors. You know, people keep these. I mean it's a totally different thing than having a fish tank. But in lot of ways it's the same.

"It's an animal that's beautiful. It's interesting to watch," MacInnes said. "People choose to do a lot of different things, you know, like ride a motorcycle or jump out of airplanes. Those are dangerous things. ... It's a calculated risk that you assume if you want to own one of these."

MacInnes also sells pythons that are 15 feet long and can fetch up to $5,000. Although pythons are not venomous, they can easily crush you to death.

Avoiding Life-Threatening Injuries

All the snake-related deaths MacInnes has heard about have involved individual snake owners.

"People who keep large snakes, if they make a mistake during feeding time, they can get killed by their snake," he said. But "nobody is going to order a 15-foot python that's never had a snake and doesn't know about snakes."

Even though he's surrounded by danger, MacInnes has so far escaped unscathed.

"We've never had a serious -- I want to knock on wood -- we've never had a serious envenomation here. We've had, you know, close calls where someone gets a fang but doesn't get any venom. But mostly it's because we train, stay real safe, stay at the other end of the hook or the tools," he said.

Yet just a day after ABC News visited MacInnes' farm, a neighbor who had bought snakes there was bitten by his pet cobra and had to be rushed to an Orlando hospital for emergency treatment. He survived, but buyer beware.

Pythons are not native to the United States, yet somehow they have escaped captivity in their new homes and made themselves comfortable in the Florida Everglades, where they have had run-ins with cars, alligators and cats.

It raises he question, if these nonindigenous animals are escaping into the wild, is it really appropriate to sell them in the United States?

"I think so," MacInnes said. "I mean, we've been selling snakes, you know, for 50 years in Florida and this is one of the very few species that has ever become established, and it was basically a freak thing that happened. And it's probably because of Hurricane Andrew and one or two snakes -- it's yet to be determined how many snakes -- but a few snakes have made their way to the everglades and started breeding."

Frogs and Scorpions and Spiders, Oh My!

Away from the giant snakes, a collection of colorful red-eyed tree frogs selling for $45 each, seems awfully appealing.

There also are white tree frogs, African bullfrogs, blue frogs and huge toads. But don't let colors seduce you: These guys are poisonous, although not when bred in captivity.

Some people get a kick out of owning scorpions. These creepy crawlies are $5 and up. But if you're thinking of buying a tarantula, don't plan to touch it -- its hairs hurt.

"They kind of just float in the air. They get into your nasal passages and your eyes and your skin and make you itch, and it keeps predators away from them," MacInnes explained.

Like so many companies these days, this is a mail-order business. You can buy reptiles in 6,500 pet stores across the country, but more and more are being sold online. And, yes, you can ship almost everything. But check your state and city laws, because in a lot of places a lot of these creatures are illegal, or at least require a license.

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