Burmese Pythons in Florida
There are many different types of snakes in the state of Florida from the average garden snake to the very venomous Eastern Diamondback Rattle but so far the only one that has both citizens and politicians truly worried about are the Burmese Pythons that are located in the Everglades, a National Park located in southern Florida. Burmese Pythons have a beautiful patterned skin, a rapid growth rate, which is known as the largest snake of choice to be owned by human. During, captivate Burmese python are poorly taking care of; some turn on their owners and end up killing them.
Due to, them being poorly taking care pythons are release into the wild or in a nearby wooded area to defended for themselves and find food. (National…). Habitat depletion, continued demand for Burmese pythons in the pet trade, and hunting for their skins and flesh have landed these graceful giants on the threatened species list. (National.. ) Python molurus bivittatus or the Burmese Python originate from the Southeast Asia. Around the end of the twentieth century, there has been a breeding population of Burmese Pythons in Florida, especially in the Everglade.
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This popular exotic animal has been released or has escaped from their owner’s homes or outdoor enclosures. According to USA Today, facts about Burmese Pythons are they come from Southeast Asia; they came to America as pets of trade; first appeared in the Florida Everglades in the mid-1990s. (du Pre). These snakes can get as big as 23 feet or more and weigh as much as 200 pounds; they are excellent swimmers and can stay under water for up to 20 minutes, according to the National Geographic. (du Pre).
The number of Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades could run into the “tens of thousands. ” Large amounts of “raccoons, opossums, bobcats and other mammals” have been eaten by the carnivorous reptiles, and scientists fear the situation will worsen. (du Pre). Burmese Pythons were first observed in the state of Florida since the 1979 in the Everglades. Their ability to adapt aggressively to the South Florida environment has prompted authorities to name them as an invasive species (Wikipedia). From 2001 through 2005, over 200 Burmese Pythons have been observed in the parks boundaries.
There are about 180,000 pythons in or around the Everglades area; they have also been spotted in Big Cypress National Preserve and North of the parks’ boundaries. Burmese Python are one of the four snakes that are not allowed to import into the United States. The Burmese Python has caused a lot of ruckus in communities surrounding the Everglades and to the people who let them get out due to the snake’s diet. The Burmese Python can eat animals from the size of a small rodent to animals as large as a deer which is why many of the people living in surrounding areas are so upset due to the fact that pets are being eaten by the pythons.
Imagine being in their shoes, after put their pet in their backyard and a five foot snake slowly squeezing their poor little pet to death and eat them. This is why they go to their congressman and ask that these snakes be removed to protect their animals. If a person were to want a Burmese Pythons they could be bought for as little as twenty dollars from a pet shop. Burmese Pythons as exotic pets are in big business in the United States adding the number of snakes in captivity and being breed is over 112,000 since 1990. In 2007, there was nearly 250 snakes removed out of a National Park. Natural Resources…) The Burmese Python can live fifteen to twenty-five years and females can lay one hundred eggs. The hatchlings are larger than native hatchlings snakes and grow quickly when there is enough food. Even though they are very deadly predators, but their most likely predator for the pythons in the Everglades are alligators, American crocodiles, black bears and cougars (Wikipedia). With so many things that can kill the Burmese Python there should be more law to protect them from being killed due to the their size or that they hunt the pet of people.
In early January of 2013 legislators came up with a very way of catching pythons that are loose and out of the National Park, it is called the “2013 Python Challenge”. There is a hunt for Burmese pythons in the Everglades, this contest started in the later part of January and will end the 18th of February. Nearly 1,600 hunters from 38 states, Washington D. C. and Canada, took part in the challenge, which offered cash prizes (Tuffley). The Challenge lasted for a month in which 68 pythons were caught. A$1500 reward was given to the hunter who caught the most pythons and $1000 for the hunter who caught the longest.
As of the 11th of January there has been 11 pythons caught in the Everglades and are being kept at the University of Florida; until, the contest is over. There is a prize for the longest and the biggest snake caught. (Greenwood). According to the website, the hunt is being conducted “to raise public awareness about Burmese pythons and how this invasive species is a threat to the Everglades ecosystem, including native wildlife. ” (Surely, the appeal of saying that one has successfully captured and killed a gigantic invasive death snake should not be discounted, either. ) (Greenwood).
Although Burmese Pythons are from Southern and Southeast Asia, they were brought here as a trade for exotic pets. They can live up to 25 years; grow to be 25 to 26 feet long; weigh up to 200 pounds or more. Most people see them as a threat to the Everglades’ environment and others see them as a family pet. Those that see them as a pet do not realize the danger of the up keep. Those that see the pythons as a pest are only mad because the python killed their pet or tried. Even though the government tried to catch some of them there are still thousands of pythons in the everglades.
“Burmese Python”. National Geographic Society. National Geographic. 1996-2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2013 “Burmese Pythons in Florida”. Wikipedia. 13 Jan. 2013. Wikipedia. 06 Mar. 2013 du Pre, Jolie. “Burmese Pythons: 8 Facts about the Exotic Pet That’s Ruining the Florida Everglades”. Yahoo! News. 31 Jan. 2012. Yahoo! Inc. Web. 10 Feb. 2013. Greenwood, Faine. “Florida Burmese python hunt begins with 11 catches in the Everglades”. GlobalPost. 15 Jan.2013. GlobalPost International News. Web. 10 Feb. 2013 “Natural Resources Management Burmese Pythons”. South Florida Natural Resources Center. Apr. 2008. 1-2. PDF file. 10 Feb. 2013. Tuffley, Christopher. “68 Pythons down, many still to go.” Print. News Sun,19 Feb. 2013. News Sun. 28 Feb. 2013.