Friday, July 9, 2010

Invasive Species in Florida

I just watched a very scary show on Animal Planet. It was about giant snakes. No, I'm not afraid of snakes (I actually used to raise a few different species of snakes and other reptiles)... But this was a show about WILD Burmese Pythons and African Pythons (I think they were Rock Pythons)in FLORIDA! They had been released in the Everglades, probably by their owners who couldn't deal with them at their adult size (Females get over 20ft long!)

What was really scary was that they are BREEDING in the wild and are learning to adapt to cooler temperatures - which means that they might be able to move as far north as Washington DC! The two species are even cross breeding! This could result in a hybrid that is stronger than either parent breed!

This post is related to a previous post of mine about dumping cats and dogs (which is horrible)... but somehow this is WORSE! They are introducing an "Apex" predator into an environment where they can survive, and thrive... wiping out the local, and often times endangered, wildlife! The larger animals have even been known to eat alligators and HUMANS. (Like Florida needs another man-eating reptile).

What are your feelings on this subject? Should private citizens be prohibited from owning exotic species in tropical areas? Does this infringe on our rights, or is it just the responsible thing to do (especially in a case like this where obviously the owners sense of responsibility was lacking)
Whaddaya think? Is your house in the "Yes" or "Maybe" zone? :)

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