Burmese Pythons Not Going Anywhere

Courtesy, AP/Everglades Nat'l Park
Courtesy, AP/Everglades Nat'l Park

At left, you'll find the single most interesting picture taken in Florida in the last five years. (Other than this one, I mean.) Pictured is a 13-foot Burmese Python which has bitten off more than it can chew -- except the python has dispensed with the biting, and the chewing, and tried to straight-up swallow a six-foot alligator, which traveled a goodly distance down the snake's esophagus before ripping it in 'twain.

That pic was taken in 2005, and it's profoundly depressing to see it pop up again in a George Bennett story in today's Palm Beach Post. It's a sign that, despite hunting, trapping, and the best efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to rid the state of the invasive Burmese Python, the dratted snake is with us still.

As the Post reports, dry seasons and record chills have had little effect on the pythons' fecundity, and the South Florida Water Management District today reported "that it has removed six snakes in the past week from territories previously thought to be uninvaded."

There are many, and perhaps tens, of thousands of Burmese Pythons in the Florida Everglades. Healthy specimens can grow to almost two meters in length during their first year of life. Mother pythons lay over a dozen eggs at a time, over half of which will usually survive. Their breeding season is March and April.

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