Pythons in Florida

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.  🙂

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_EVERGLADES_PYTHONS?SITE=AZPHG&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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