Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
A Florida shop owner is planning to sell face masks made from the skin of a Burmese Python that may eventually provide some coronavirus protection to people in the U.S. who may also get a kick out of wearing the unique accessory.
Brian Wood, the owner of All American Gator Products in Dania Beach, told the Miami Herald, “People are going to have to cover their faces, and unfortunately the situation may last longer than we imagined."
The python skin doesn't protect people from becoming infected with the virus, although he said the masks may eventually come with a filtration system similar to N95 masks -- which blocks small airborne particles.
Wood said he's in talks with filter suppliers and is considering using cloth, as certain materials are in high demand by health care professionals in the U.S. He's also planning on making some of the masks from alligator and crocodile skin, according to the paper.
“The designs are still in the early stages and I want to take advantage of the supply we have here not only of python skin, but also alligator and crocodile,” said Wood.
He said the skin prices are "reasonable" at about $20 to $40 with additional manufacturing costs. Wood added that alligator skin would be more expensive, declaring it "the diamond of leathers."
A 10-foot snake could make as many as 10 masks, according to Wood.
“People are telling me they want to buy 5, 12 of these masks, so I’ll definitely be buying snakes from local hunters," he told the Miami Herald.
The Burmese Python is an invasive species currently disrupting wildlife in the Everglades -- as the coronavirus impacts life for many Americans.