Florida Pythons: What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

Florida has a python problem which just got worse. According to a story on National Geographic African rock pythons have been found in the wild in Florida

From National Geographic:

Already squeezed by the invasion of the giant Burmese python, Florida now faces what one scientist calls one of the U.S. state’s “worst nightmares.”

Africa’s largest snake-the ill-tempered, 20-foot-long (6.1-meter long) African rock python-is colonizing the U.S. state, new discoveries suggest.

Six African rock pythons have been found in Florida since 2002. More troubling, a pregnant female and two hatchlings have been found, which means the aggressive reptiles have set up house.

7 Responses

  1. Wouldn’t putting a modest price on their scaly heads wipe them out pretty quickly?

  2. Hm. Python giggin’ in the ‘Glades? Not an attractive sport.

  3. Things like this are why herp keepers have to deal with so much crap. And I don’t mean the article; I mean the goddamn idiots that released pythons into the wild. I am an advocate for herp keeping, but I am ALSO an advocate for learning about your animal, and planning to care for it the entirety of its life. The same problem pops up with the people who buy a cute little 8-inch American Alligator hatchling…

  4. I remember an episode of Rescue 911 where this old guy in Florida kept trying to convince the cops or animal control that a giant snake was living under his house. Unspoken but obvious: they thought he was senile. Until he built a trap for it, and it smashed the trap and used the broken wood to shed its skin on. When he took the skin to the cops, animal control came out to his house pronto. I don’t remember now what it was, but it took 8 guys to carry it. That was a while ago now!

  5. This problem is hardly unique to Florida. Back when I used to read the various newspapers of Utah’s Wasatch Front regularly, it seemed that about once or twice a year there would be a news report of a large (8 feet or more) constrictor snake that been discovered abandoned by its owners. I have personally met 3 residents of the area who found large constrictor snakes (and did not report them to the news). I’ve read similar stories in Puget sound area newspapers. The Wasatch Front, of course, is too dry for most large constrictor snakes, and its winters are too cold. So the snakes just suffer, rather than cause problems. The Puget sound area, is also too cold. But I’m sure imported large constrictor snakes are frequently abandoned in other areas too; I fully expect that as the climate warms, south Texas, south Louisiana, and the rest of the Gulf Coast area will find themselves with invasive constrictor problems much as Florida has.

    Additionally – about twice a decade I will read a report of a discovery of a large “big cat” ranch, where the owners raise big cats to sell to people for pets. There are a great many exotic pets being kept in the US, and most of them by irresponsible people.

  6. That is a good point. I have to always wondered how many exotics get dumped into the wild and perish because it is the wrong environment.

  7. Something to consider when considering a pet: 1) is it well-adapted to life with humans? Like cats or dogs. 2) Would it have a chance of surviving until rescue (and be an attractive object of rescue) if a disaster forced you to abandon it? and 3) Could it be a well-adapted invasive species that would cause massive problems if it did escape?

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