Tagged: Burmese pythons

Random Thoughts: As If Alligators and Tornadoes Weren’t Enough to Worry About

I’m a worrier. I never thought I was, but it’s been brought to my attention that I am.

Sometimes, there are things that need to be worried about. Like snakes.

There is something supremely icky to me about snakes. Growing up in Texas, one learns about the danger of snakes at an early age. Aside from the small garter snakes we find in the garden in the spring, I haven’t actually seen many in the wild. After a visit to the zoo once, however, and being amazed at how many snakes I was unable to spot right under my nose because of their incredible camouflage, I know they’re out there.

And it’s even worse than I thought.

A few weeks ago I read two articles I haven’t been able to shake. The articles were both about Burmese pythons killing off native animals such as racoons, bobcats, opossums, and rabbits in the Florida Everglades. We’re not talking minor decreases in these populations either, we’re talking numbers as high as a 90% decrease in some of the animal populations.

Other than the obvious environmental impact, I can’t help but wonder 1) who keeps pythons as pets, and 2) who is sick enough to let them slither out into the wild?

Does anyone else find these reports somewhat alarming? I don’t live in Florida, but I know these types of things have a way of spreading. If I did live in Florida, and anywhere near the Everglades, I probably wouldn’t step foot outside my house after dark for the remainder of my life.

I was a Girl Scout and have spent years camping around the country, and snakes aren’t something I worry about too much. They’re generally shy and do their best to stay away from people. But a python? I have visions of 20 ft long snakes as thick as a human body hanging from the trees, slithering under porches and hiding in garbage cans, ready to swallow me whole. <shiver, or should I say slither?>

It gets worse. When I searched for a photo of a python to include here, just to give you an idea of their true size, I came across another article in a blog that states there are now pythons in Kansas. I was right, they are already spreading. As if tornadoes aren’t enough to worry about out on the Great Plains!

This certainly goes into the I Had No Idea file.

Burmese python that was found in the Everglades

Invaders: How Burmese Pythons are Devouring the Everglades

Pythons Linked to Florida Everglades Mammal Decline