Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Florida Pythons??

Oh boy. Where do we start?

Yesterday, perhaps around the same time we here at JustSaying were watching a fantastic NatGeo special about the burmese python invasion in the Florida Everglades, animal enforcement officers seized around a hundred deadly snakes - dead, alive, frozen and rotting pythons and rattlesnakes - from a home in Palm Bay, Florida. The homeowner is facing more than 122 counts of animal cruelty and the capacity for danger that has been lurking inside this home exemplifies out nation's need for a ban on exotic pet ownership.

I don't mean to belittle the horrors of hoarding and the unfair treatment of these snakes, but I think the bigger issue lies in the extraordinary strength and ecological impact of this particular invasive species - which unfortunately likely began with collectors unable to maintain the pythons (which can grow up to 200 lbs and 23 ft in length) and releasing them into the wild.

The snakes are carnivores and have no known predators in the Everglades. Holy dangerous. Even worse: scientists have learned that the snakes acclimate to their surroundings quickly, are devouring native mammals, gators, and birds, and are reproducing rapidly.

Just saying... The pictured python's body burst after swallowing an enormous gator. That could easily have been a child. Enough already, crazy collectors.

Learn more about the snakes and the invasion here.

(Thnx Neeks)

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