“Have you found any pythons yet Jim?” “No, not yet.” The two hunters drifted apart. Then an ear piercing scream. Jim didn’t find the python, the python found him. The Burmese pythons are taking over the Everglades and people who have never seen a snake are hunting them. Thousands of people and animals are in danger due to a few careless acts by people who couldn’t take care of the pythons. “Many pets (pythons) turned loose by their owners when they became too big is threatening the ecosystem of Florida’s Everglades” states Andrew Ng.
Burmese pythons are dangerous. They can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh 200 pounds. Matt Piven states in the article ‘Burmese Python: Not the Ideal Pet’ “Think of a telephone pole, and then imagine a snake as big around the middle as that pole. That’s the Burmese Python” The size of these snakes is monsterous. The pythons are carnivores and can eat things 5 times larger than they are. Although they are not poisonous, they’re just as deadly. Given these facts, you probably wouldn’t want them wandering the Everglades.
The Burmese pythons are wiping out populations of animals. “With no natural predators these eating machines appear to be wiping out huge numbers of opossums, raccoons, and bobcats, as well as many bird species.” states Andrew Ng in a 2013 news article. With the shrinking number of small mammals and the growing number of pythons, the Everglades are in immense danger. Animals that aren’t being eaten by the pythons are still in danger. Their food sources are disappearing due to the pythons.
There are efforts being made but they aren’t the greatest ideas. Andrew Ng states in his January 2013 article “The state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission is sponsoring its first ever Python Challenge. Open to the public from January 12 until February 10, the challenge is to hunt and kill Burmese pythons, with a grand prize of 1,500 awarded to the hunter who kills the most pythons.” This contest allows people from all over the country to come and hunt for the pythons. Many of the people have never touched a python, let alone hunt them. These people are in immense danger and they may not realize it. Andrew Ng states in the same article “This means for 30 days, hundreds of people armed with shotguns, rifles, machetes, handguns, and hooked spears -many who have never seen a Burmese python- will roam the Florida Everglades in search of the coveted snakes.” The hunters are unfamiliar with the reptiles, and are wandering the Everglades with weapons. This is dangerous for obvious reasons.
The pythons that were released by their owners were causing a lot of problems. Hurricane Andrew didn’t help either. In EcoEchoes blog article ‘Burmese Python: The Ecosystem Challenge’ they state “They just let them go into the Everglades or some other wild area. Hurricane Andrew didn’t help matters. An exotic pet dealer’s warehouse that housed nearly 900 Burmese pythons was destroyed, and many of the pythons escaped.” With all these pythons wandering southern Florida, the ecosystem is hurting. There needs to be a better way of taking care of the pythons. With their effect on the ecosystem, their rein cannot last any longer.
These pythons are killing the Everglades ecosystem. They are causing the amount of small mammals and birds to decrease. The pythons are also reducing the resources in that area. The contest isn’t helping the case much, if anything it is putting people at more of a risk. Thousands of people are in danger due to these pythons, and the problem doesn’t seem to be diminishing. We can only hope that these pesky pythons will be gone in the near future.