America Home of the Pythons
By Joseph Parish
My ten year old grandson had just finished watching a science fiction movie the other evening that featured a giant python ravishing everyone in sight. It appeared that nothing could injure this creature. After the movie had finished my grandson came up to me and said,
“Pop, I sure am glad those kind of snakes don’t live here in Delaware.”
Being a survivalist I believe in being groomed to handle all types of emergency situations and I also believe that I have the responsibility to instill this same line of reasoning within my family. It was time to gather my grandson near to me and sit him down while I proceeded to explain some basic facts to him.
As the climate that we are currently experiencing begins to warm our planet, it is entirely possible that these Giant Burmese pythons could establish colonies within at least one third of America. To fully understand the extent of this, imagine a reach from San Francisco across the state of Texas and into the majority of the southern states. Our reach would begin heading north only to possibly stop in the state of Virginia which for us it less then an hour away. These astounding snakes can usually obtain a length of twenty feet and can weigh as much as 250 pounds. As it appears they are highly adaptable to our upcoming new climate changes.
Pythons were initially introduced into America as exotic pets. Many people thought it would be just grand to own a member of the largest snake family in the world. Little did they realize that these snakes would eventually mature and become much too large for the average home to contain.
During the mid 1990’s, the first wild species of python in America was discovered within the Florida everglades. Apparently these snakes had been abandoned by their owners as they kept outgrowing their cages and getting to the point of being dangerous.
Scientists soon discovered in 2003, that the python snakes had in fact began to breed in the wild thus they started creating their own colonies within the state of Florida. It was then that the authorities decided that the snake had to be regulated. An act that obviously was too late.
Under normal conditions it would have been many years before these snakes had evolved to the other states however the process was accelerated as pet owners in other states released their pets into the wild. Once again the reason was they were simply getting to large to handle. These snakes in turn created additional colonies in the various states. To date the python population has spread to all the way to Arkansas.
This snake is normally not considered a poisonous snake nor is it an outward danger to humans. An interesting note concerning these large snakes is that in Florida they have been known to eat deer, bobcats, alligators, cats, raccoons, rats, muskrats, rabbits, possum, ducks, mice, egrets as well as herons. They tend to grab their prey with their mouth and to anchor it firmly while it coils around the captured animal. It finally crushes the creature prior to eating it.
My grandson sat up in the chair with his mouth wide open and I knew his thought were racing back to the movie he had just finished watching. I ended his snake lesson on the concept that should he ever see one he should by no means attempt to capture it nor restrain it but leave the area immediately and notify the authorities.
He looked at me and replied.” You can count on that for sure pop!”
Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish