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article imageSnakes Alive: Pythons Live In the Everglades

By KJ Mullins     Jul 14, 2007 in Environment
Pet owners have been releasing snakes that get too big for them into the Everglades. 95 Burmese pythons were captured just last year in the swampy area. The snakes getting so large that there are reports of gator tastings.
It is legal to own a Burmese Python in the United States. The popular pet can sell for as little as $20. People soon discover that those cute little baby snakes grow huge and need a lot of food.
In the past the Everglades saw a rare Burmese Python. They are now breeding in the wild and threaten the natural wildlife of the area. The snakes have to eat and eat they do, squirrels, black rats, possums, and house wrens. They would eat an alligator if they could.
If they can take down a gator, they can easily take down a small child. The snakes grow to 20 feet. That is no match for a human if the snake attacks.
The problem is getting so bad that Rep. Ralph Poppell is proposing a bill for Florida to put the Burmese Python on the list of regulated reptiles. Owners would have to be registered and if they release their snake into the wild they could face jail time.
The environmental danger of loose pythons is not a minor matter. Invasive species are one of the main reasons behind animal endangerment and extinction. Half of the endangered animals in the United States alone are on the list because of invasive and introduced species. Once an invasive species has a home base they are almost impossible to eradicate. Measures afterward are therefore can only be made in controlling the damage already done.
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