OT New Friends in the Everglades
- Hi, everyone-
For the past twenty years, people have been turning their pet anacondas and pythons loose in the Everglades when they get too big for them to care for. Recent studies indicate that the swamp may currently be home to tens of thousands of these giant constrictors.
Alarmingly, a January article in the Miami Herald pointed out a drastic decline in the population of rabbits, raccoons, foxes and bobcats in the region. The decline has been as high as ninety-nine percent in some areas, and corresponds in terms of time and habitat almost exactly with the explosion in wild constrictors.
And the snakes aren't just eating mid-size mammals, like marsh rabbits , opossums and raccoons. They're eating everything. The National Geographic Online recently ran a story about a Burmese python that burst after swallowing a live alligator whole
Another python was shot by park rangers after it had killed and swallowed a seventy-six pound deer
So, the point I'm trying to make here is that if these pythons are devouring live deer and alligators, um, whole, what do you think they will do to *YOU*? Wanna find out? If not, I'd recommend planning your canoe trip somewhere else. I think we have some Canadian rangers in the Centre, who will be more than happy to design an exciting travel itinerary for you to Prince Edward Island, or the beautiful, wild Northwest Territories.
Go Canada! Land of Maple leafs, hockey and no pythons!
- As you all know, I am deeply concerned about the proliferation of pythons in the Everglades, eating everything in sight. It's a real fear, that I might one day take a plane to Tampa or Miami to visit our Centres there, wander a few feet off the beaten track into a grove of orange trees, and then end up inside a giant python, waiting to get digested. It could happen! Those things are scary!
I meekly suggested that tourists go to Canada instead of the Everglades. In Canada nothing will hurt you. Nothing at all. They are that congenial. Canadians are nice people, and except for the occasional grizzly bear, the animals are nice, too.
Interestingly, a new Canadian Political Action Committee is running an ad campaign called SCEPTICS (Suspicious Canadians on the Emigration of Pythons To Inland and Coastal Swamps.)
"We don't want no more tourists!" one proud SCEPTIC declaimed at a recent rally. "Tourists, go back to the Everglades! The notion that pythons are infiltrating the Eveglades is a lie! Besides, pythons are friendly, grazing herbivores."
OK, I'm sorry to offend this SCEPTIC with his white-boy dreads, but pythons are not friendly. They do not graze. And they are not herbivores. Try cracking a recent edition of any National Geographic for more information.
Anyway, Canadians should revel in the inevitable uptick in tourism. It should help to invigorate the economy.