Foreign Aliens Taking Over! Run For Your Lives!

I just watched a special on PBS – yes, I do that – about the Bermese Python taking over the Everglades.  It’s sad, really.  The snake eats everything from rats to alligators, and have their eye on the 100 plus endangered species that live there.

In school, we discussed the importance of planting indigenous plants when landscaping our buildings, but I never thought too much on the animal species; you don’t involve animals too much in architectural design, unless you’re designing a zoo.  Just the same, the exotic animals being released everyday into the wild is wreaking havoc on the environment.  In the case of the pythons of the Everglades, they came from people who could no longer care for their pet.  They have no native predators, and once they are full grown – some found over 15 feet –  only the largest alligators and humans can kill them.  There is nothing stopping them from eating, growing, breeding, and doing it all over again.  Their numbers are in the 10s of thousands, and there is no end in sight.  It is too costly to try to actually eradicate them from Florida, and so the Parks Department  is focusing on containing and eradicating them from wildlife sanctuaries.  I wish them luck.  They also have begun what they call the “Animal Amnesty” program where they accept people’s exotic pets, no questions asked.

So remember, if you can no longer care for your pet, don’t just release it to the wild, give it away to a good home or sell it to a good home, if you’re hard up.  In the meantime, I wonder if it wouldn’t be wise to send hunters into the Everglades to hunt the pythons – it’s for a good cause.  The price of shoes and handbags might just come down, and then we’d be fashionable while saving our wallets and our Everglades.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Foreign Aliens Taking Over! Run For Your Lives!

  1. I watched this too! I was flipping around the Olympics and found this about half-way through. It is really astonishing, (and at the same time perfectly logical) that perfect ecosystems that have developed over millions of years can be so rapidly upset by the introduction of a new species.

    And it was also interesting how it doesn’t have to be a predator at the top of the food chain, either — the Nile Monitors they showed discovering and eating alligator eggs drove it home for me that *any* disruption to the balance of an ecosystem can be dangerous. Up here in Boston, there were signs up in the fall warning about Asian long-horned beetles, which destroy bark, often killing the trees.

    …Equally astonishing, I guess, is the fact that so many people want to own Burmese pythons, knowing how enormous they become! The animal amnesty program for giving these creatures back is really the best option. Go PBS!

  2. namhenderson

    Ha I watched this too.

    Being in FL and having gone to U of F (whose researchers are actively involved in prevention/mitigation efforts to address the situation) I was aware of it. But it was still very interesting to watch. I was also struck by the way these snakes can take down even the top predators (the alligator) and the way they can swallow and then digest and entire one within days..

  3. Pingback: I Heard the News Today, Oh Boy! « Gettin' By

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