I know I have written on this before but a new article out about it has me upset all over again. Please understand, I do not hate pythons or other snakes. I wouldn’t want them for pets but I understand the huge contribution they make to the ecosystem.
However, having said that, running into a 16.4 ft, 200 lb python in the Everglades does not thrill me either. The number of pythons continues to boom – experts figure over ten thousand now inhabit the area – and they continue to grow bigger and bigger. Pythons can reach 26 ft in length and weigh in at over 200 lbs – what is a huge snake like that going to eat?
According to the article, the National Park Service has seen a dramatic drop in mammals in the glades – raccoons, deer, opossums, and bobcats. It upsetting the ecosystem of the glades, to what end we have no idea yet. Not only that, but the snakes are not bound to the glades – they can migrate north other states that offer them the hot, humid weather they like causing havoc there as well.
This is a picture of a 15 ft snake that weighed in around 165 pounds that was found dead in the glades a couple of years ago. Apparently the snake tried to digest a whole six-foot alligator and received a terminal case of indigestion as a result. A SIX foot gator! That means digesting a man, woman or child whole would not be all that farfetched.
I don’t want people running out to do a mass extermination of snakes in the glades and probably, in time, the glades will adjust accordingly as nature has a way of striving for balance. Several of these snakes have been found in populated areas though and that is going to continue being a problem as their numbers grow (both snakes and humans).
There, I had my rant for the month. 🙂