Skip to comments.Giant Pythons Invade Florida
Posted on 05/17/2008 6:57:30 PM PDT by restornu
Giant pythons capable of swallowing a dog and even an alligator are rapidly making south Florida their home, potentially threatening other southeastern states, a study said.
"Pythons are likely to colonize anywhere alligators live, including north Florida, Georgia and Louisiana," said Frank Mazzotti, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor, in his two-year study.
The pythons thriving in Florida are mostly Burmese pythons from Myanmar that were brought over as pets and then turned loose in the wild.
From 2002-2005, 201 of the beasts were caught by state authorities, but in the last two years the number has more than doubled to 418, Mazzotti said in his study published on the university Web site.
The largest python caught so far in Florida measured 16.4 feet and weighed 154 pounds.
Mazzotti said the serpents, despite their awesome size, are not poisonous, but are excellent swimmers and able to cover great distances in little time. Some, trapped and released with radio transmitters, swam 37 miles in a few hours.
Highly adaptable, pythons prey on cats, dogs, hares, foxes, squirrels, raccoons and even alligators, allowing them to thrive in a variety of environments.
After populating the Florida Everglades -- a vast marshland -- ,b>where it is estimated they number 30,000, the giant python is now spreading across the rest of the peninsula.
"Females may store sperm, so they can produce fertile clutches for years. And a 100-something pound snake can easily be producing 60, 80 eggs a year," said Mazzotti, adding that the reptile could eventually populate the entire southern United States.
Very scary. The stuff of nightmares.
Sorry. I couldn't resist. ;-)
I listened to this one morming on Coast to Coast radio and was amazed. These snakes will take out most of the protected species that are going extinct. Except for maybe an alligator, they have no enemies.
Burmese pythons are the secondn largest species of pythons in the world if memory serves. This just confirms my doubts of camping in south Georgia this summer.
They're edible. Hunt 'em, cook 'em and sell 'em.
That gives me the heebee jeebees.
the Thai's, Vietnamese, Burmese & lots of other Asians cook them in numerous TASTY ways.
snake tastes a lot like catfish & since it's round, it LOOKS like catfish, too.
btw, a python "dresses out" at about 70% of live weight. = CHEAP PROTEIN!
Just declare it’s open season on them. Offer a reward, say 10 or 20 bucks a linear foot, enough for someone to make a living at it. According to envirowhackos, mankind — especially drunken, gun-totin’ rednecks — can wipe out any species almost overnight. That’s why so many of them need protection. So... offer a reward on pythons. Let’s see if it’s true.
I saw one of these monsters coiled up once and I thought I was looking at a bean bag chair. It took me a second or 2 before I realized that I was looking at a snake.
Those snakes also make a magnificent pair of boots,and the wife would love the handbag too.
“Snakes...why did it have to be snakes?”
- Indiana Jones
Raiders of the Lost Ark
I'd worry more about the mosquitos and ticks. Florida South of Lake Okechobee has a tropical climate. Nuisance species generally don't far well North of the Lake where temperatures can dip well below freezing during Winter.