:They are perfectly legal. No protection no them at this time. The vast majority of the animals available are newly caught imports, and you need some pateince to get them going, wormed, feeding etc. also...they tend to be MEAN. With time, you can get them started and calm them down...but it's much better to try to get well established, long term captives or captive born animals. Captive born snakes when handled gently are good pets, get HUGE...and are truely awesome colubrids.