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#29149 - 09/01/09 08:32 PM A new meaning to "Invasive Species"
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
I know quite a few members on this site do not reside in the US, and even the ones who do aren't fully aware of the problem Florida has been having for decades with pythons.

For a lot of people, they tend to buy reptiles when they're small and cute, like baby iguanas and alligators. Personally, I like reptiles, turtles and lizards especially. However, I could never keep one as a pet because of my own conscience. When these "pets" get too big to house and take care of properly, what would I do with it? Hundreds of thousands of people who have been faced with this problem simply drive out to the Everglades (sometimes not even that far--just dump the critter in a field on the other side of town) and let the snake, alligator, turtle, whatever, run free. Like Willy the killer fucking whale.

Great idea, folks, brilliant.

What happens when the dominant reptile, which here in Florida is the alligator, is forced to contend with other, massive reptiles?

This--



Yes, it's an python that tried to eat an alligator. The alligator was too large, and as you can see, they both lost. You can see the narrower tail and hind feet of the alligator protruding from the split abdomen of the python, the rest of the python is trailing back behind itself at a 90° angle.

Full story

So besides the Burmese python's label as an invasive species, edging out other, natural animals from their habitat and food supply, we also have this little problem of pythons surviving quite happily in the backyards of suburbia, most likely feeding on strays and palm rats.

This also brings the python to the doorsteps of human abodes. The young nephew of an Okeechobee veterinarian heard about a giant snake in a ditch at a construction site, which was right next to the animal hospital. The vet shot it with a .22.



It measured 17 feet long and weighed 207 pounds.

Veterinarian shoots Burmese python

The python problem has gotten to the point where Governor Charlie Crist declared an "open season" on the reptiles, to be conducted by herpetologists. The snake did not go to waste, however. It's meat was donated to a wildlife rehab facility.
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#29151 - 09/01/09 09:05 PM Re: A new meaning to "Invasive Species" [Re: Nemesis]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
Talk about biting off more than you can chew. \:D

It is pathetic that people are willing to keep animals like that as pets but aren't willing to accept the responsibility that comes with that ownership.

Do these people think these animals won't eventually get bigger? Or do they realize that but just figure once the pet gets too big they can simply release it into the wild, and, problem solved?

I have no idea what these people are thinking, but I do know one thing; they are idiots not fit to own a house plant.

Also, the vet that shot that snake is an asshole. If it was posing no immediate threat it shouldn't have been killed. Surely a veterinary clinic has tranquilizer capable of immobilizing the snake on hand.
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#29158 - 09/02/09 07:21 AM Re: A new meaning to "Invasive Species" [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Nemesis Offline
senior member


Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
I sort of agree with you that he shouldn't have shot it, but the guy wasn't a herpetologist, and probably didn't know what tranq, or how much of it, he would have to give the snake to put it under. I've never heard of snakes being chemically subdued during capture anyway. Experts always grab the snake and put it into a bag.

Plus, if he hadn't shot it on the spot, there was always the chance of it slithering away and killing someone's kid later on. Hell, that thing could've easily killed an adult. Snakes love hiding under trailers and porches, to make for a cool hiding place and easy ambush.
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#29163 - 09/02/09 10:17 AM Re: A new meaning to "Invasive Species" [Re: Nemesis]
Zorg Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/30/09
Posts: 44
Loc: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
As an animal lover, I also refuse the temptation to own a pet without exhaustively researching the responsibility involved. That is why I do not own a dog...I am gone 10 hours a day. That is tough on a social animal; and, even two dogs would get confused about who the Alpha is if I am not around all day.

I do own a ball python, however. People friendly, compact and best of all, they don't eat gators.
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#29164 - 09/02/09 11:03 AM Re: A new meaning to "Invasive Species" [Re: Zorg]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
Burmese Pythons are beautiful. They can be friendly and do get used to handling. At least the few in the past I held that were own by friends. I used to own a rainbow boa, it was friendly, sweet, and yet nasty to strangers. My friend's kid let it out of the tank I had it in and bit her. She didn't tell anyone for hours what happened and by then it was too late. I never found my snake, when it got out it was around 9 feet long. We searched the house and the grounds for days but it vanished. Some neighborhood cats went missing, but that was it.

Not every big pet snake is set free on purpose, some get out cause people are stupid.

Morgan
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#29175 - 09/02/09 06:07 PM Re: A new meaning to "Invasive Species" [Re: Morgan]
Volvagia Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/30/09
Posts: 11
I think the python killing the baby and people trying to blame the snake is absurd. It was only doing what it normally does. Its the carelessness of the drug addled parents.

"Snake. Snake. Snake. Ate my baby!"


As for pythons being invasive species, most scientist agree that there is a tie between gators and the pythons. So they don't pose such a threat, like rabbits in Australia.
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#29190 - 09/02/09 09:31 PM Re: A new meaning to "Invasive Species" [Re: Volvagia]
Nemesis Offline
senior member


Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
No, they do pose a sizable threat to the alligators, as they prey on the same animals and share the same environment. It's just not as dramatic of an invasion as the rabbits were to Oz, or like snakes being introduced to Hawaii, killing all of the unwitting and rare birds that inhabit the islands.

As long as those nasty little Irukandji jellies that swim off of Australia's coast stay the hell away from the US. Those things are like the Black Widow spiders of the ocean.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/killer-jellyfish-jackpot/2005/12/21/1135032067258.html
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#29191 - 09/02/09 10:15 PM Re: A new meaning to "Invasive Species" [Re: Nemesis]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
I think it would be rather difficult to grab a snake that size in put in a bag, with or without the use of tranquilzer. At least rendering it unconscious it wouldn't put up a fight.

As far as the snake getting awhile and killing someone's kid goes; they already have alligators to worry about what's one more deadly animal? It might even help cut down on childhood obesity. - "Dat snake almost got me. Good thing I runned aways from it"

Let the gators and pythons fight it out; think of it like Highlander "there can be only one", and pray to dog that they don't decided to work together and come after us

Capture them alive and sell them to zoos, or people who are dumb enough to buy them. But only if they have the appropriate accomodations.

One more thing: Deadly jellyfish the size of thumbnails piss me off. If they end up being found around I here I will be even more pissed because then I won't be able to swim in the ocean.
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#29519 - 09/13/09 04:12 AM Re: A new meaning to "Invasive Species" [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
ZephyrGirl Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 706
Loc: Adelaide Australia
That is why you wear pantyhose in the ocean in Darwin. Keeps the jelly fish away, not much use for the crocodiles however....

I'm largely against all feral animals being spread. The english and spanish have a lot to answer for along that line.

Still, we have the most pure camels in the world these days in the outback, no disease, sell them back to the middle east. Can't say I'm keen on cane toads.

I feel sorry for the snake and the gators both. I had a friend loose a nice local Murray Darling Python in our house, we found it nine months later in the garden in the first rain for ages (must have been quite thirsty), so happy ending it got returned to its owner.

Would have loved it to take a cat or two, they are MUCH worse than rabbits environmentally here. Predators on a lot of levels. Birds, reptiles, other mammals, the list goes on and on.

But I won't,

ZephyrGirl
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