Atlantis Online
November 25, 2020, 08:01:31 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Comet theory collides with Clovis research, may explain disappearance of ancient people
http://uscnews.sc.edu/ARCH190.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Everglades Swamped With Invading Burmese Pythons - UPDATES


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Everglades Swamped With Invading Burmese Pythons - UPDATES  (Read 395 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« on: July 20, 2009, 10:04:00 am »









                                  Everglades swamped with invading  Burmese pythons
 




Jim Loney 
May 28, 2009
THE EVERGLADES,
Florida
(Reuters)

– The population of Burmese pythons in Florida's Everglades may have grown to as many as 150,000 as the non-native snakes make a home and breed in the fragile wetlands, officials said Thursday.

Wildlife biologists say the troublesome invaders -- dumped in the Everglades by pet owners who no longer want them -- have become a pest and pose a significant threat to endangered species like the wood stork and Key Largo woodrat.

"They eat things that we care about," said Skip Snow, an Everglades National Park biologist, as he showed a captured, 15-foot (4.6-meter) Burmese python to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who was on his first fact-finding mission to the Everglades since the Obama administration took office.

With Snow maintaining a strong grip on its head, the massive snake hissed angrily at Salazar and the other federal officials who gathered around it at a recreation area off Alligator Alley in the vast saw grass prairie. It took two other snake wranglers to control the python's body.

"A snake this size could eat a small deer or a bobcat without too much trouble," Snow told Salazar before the secretary boarded an airboat for a tour of the Everglades.

Everglades biologists have been grappling with the growing python problem for a decade. The snakes are one of the largest species in the world and natives of Southeast Asia, but they found a home to their liking in the Everglades when pet owners started using the wetland as a convenient dumping ground.

"They're fine when they're small but they can live 25 to 30 years. When they get bigger you have to feed them small animals like rabbits, and cleaning up after them, it's like cleaning up after a horse," Snow said. "People don't want big snakes."
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 06:17:09 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 10:05:35 am »










TRAPPERS AND HUNTERS



Pythons captured in the Everglades are often killed. Wildlife officials are trying trapping and other eradication methods, and are considering offering bounties to hunters. Scientists are experimenting with ways to lure the snakes into traps, including the use of pheromones -- chemicals that serve as sexual attractants -- as bait.

"They are estimating there are 150,000 of these snakes. They proliferate so quickly," said Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who accompanied Salazar on the airboat tour of the Everglades. "They've already found grown deer, they've found full sized bobcats inside them. It's just a matter of time before one gets the highly endangered Florida panther."

But biologists played down the risk to the panther, the most endangered species in the Everglades. There are believed to be only about 100 left, but they range over a territory of some 2 million acres.

"It would take some awfully unique circumstances for a python and a panther to meet up," said Darrell Land, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist. "And the cats are very wary and they have very quick reaction times."

Pythons are not the only invader troubling the Everglades.

New fish and rodent species have also become pests, and two thriving colonies of the Nile monitor lizard, an Africa native that can grow to 7 feet in length, have established themselves on opposite sides of the state.

Nelson, a Democrat, said the Obama administration had committed $200 million, including $100 million of stimulus money, so far this year to Everglades restoration, a 35-year project valued at $8 billion when it was started nearly a decade ago.

The project is designed to restore natural water flow and native wildlife populations to the shallow, slow-moving river that dominates the interior of southern Florida.




(Editing by

Pascal Fletcher
and Mohammad Zargham)
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2009, 10:06:47 am »









TRAPPERS AND HUNTERS



Pythons captured in the Everglades are often killed. Wildlife officials are trying trapping and other eradication methods, and are considering offering bounties to hunters. Scientists are experimenting with ways to lure the snakes into traps, including the use of pheromones -- chemicals that serve as sexual attractants -- as bait.

"They are estimating there are 150,000 of these snakes. They proliferate so quickly," said Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who accompanied Salazar on the airboat tour of the Everglades. "They've already found grown deer, they've found full sized bobcats inside them. It's just a matter of time before one gets the highly endangered Florida panther."

But biologists played down the risk to the panther, the most endangered species in the Everglades. There are believed to be only about 100 left, but they range over a territory of some 2 million acres.

"It would take some awfully unique circumstances for a python and a panther to meet up," said Darrell Land, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist. "And the cats are very wary and they have very quick reaction times."

Pythons are not the only invader troubling the Everglades.

New fish and rodent species have also become pests, and two thriving colonies of the Nile monitor lizard, an Africa native that can grow to 7 feet in length, have established themselves on opposite sides of the state.

Nelson, a Democrat, said the Obama administration had committed $200 million, including $100 million of stimulus money, so far this year to Everglades restoration, a 35-year project valued at $8 billion when it was started nearly a decade ago.

The project is designed to restore natural water flow and native wildlife populations to the shallow, slow-moving river that dominates the interior of southern Florida.




(Editing by

Pascal Fletcher
and Mohammad Zargham)
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 10:07:55 am »










                             State wants bounty hunters to control pythons in Everglades



                        Those pesky pythons breeding, eating and booming in the Everglades


                could become targets of bounty hunters, if a preliminary proposal is implemented.






BY CURTIS MORGAN
cmorgan@MiamiHerald.com
May 29, 2009
 
There could be a bounty on the head -- and frighteningly long body -- of the Burmese python, serpent scourge of the Everglades.

State wildlife managers on Thursday informally ran the bounty idea by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar before his tour of the Everglades. Salazar, who also was given the opportunity to examine a live 16-footer captured in Everglades National Park, agreed it was worth looking into.

''If we don't get on top of this, they're going to eradicate the indigenous species of the Everglades,'' said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. ``They have no enemies once they get past six feet long.''   
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 10:08:58 am »










FEW DETAILS

For now, the plan is sketchy and no lock. Virtually all the details remain to be worked out -- from the value of a carcass to the rules of who could hunt and where. No guns or hunting are allowed, for instance, in Everglades National Park, epicenter of the python invasion.

Over the last decade, park biologists have documented pythons breeding, eating everything from birds to bobcats, and booming in population. The latest rough estimate: 150,000. Hundreds of the giant constrictors also have been captured well north of the park's Tamiami Trail boundary.

State wildlife managers had been discussing a bounty as an option for controlling the spread of the snakes. But Barreto said managers of federal lands, which include Everglades National Park and the Big Cypress National Preserve, had been cool to the idea. Barreto, who heads a Miami lobbying firm, said he'd be willing to put up $10,000 of his own to kick-start a program, even if it was confined initially to state lands.

Gov. Charlie Crist, who accompanied Salazar on the tour, agreed some sort of bounty system might produce a ``positive outcome.''

Bounties for animals designated ''nuisances,'' including some native species such as cougars, have a long and controversial history in many western states such as Colorado, where Salazar hails from. Sam Hamilton, regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said they have also been used successfully to control exotic invaders -- most notably the nutria, a large South American rodent that plagues Louisiana.

Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades National Park, said scientists are studying myriad ways to track and capture pythons -- from traps baited with enticing snake sex scents to unmanned drone planes that could survey and spot them in remote reaches. 
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 10:09:50 am »










PILOT PROGRAM



Kimball said a bounty was an additional option to consider but suggested that a pilot program in Big Cypress, where hunting is allowed, might be a way to start.

Scientists say it will be difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate pythons from the Glades, where they can easily move across vast wetlands. Unless they're sunning on a road or dike, they're difficult to even spot in the wild.

Congress is currently considering legislation, strongly opposed by the pet industry and many owners, that would ban the import and breeding of the exotic snake and other potentially destructive species.

But Ron Bergeron, a state wildlife commissioner and Broward developer who has spent much of his life hunting in the Glades, said something has to be done to control the pythons already there.

''If we can send someone to the moon, we can figure out how to get rid of a snake,'' he said. 
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 10:11:07 am »



U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson implores lawmakers to pass a ban on Burmese pythons. More than 100,000 of the dangerous snakes, like the 16-foot one pictured above have infested the Florida Everglades. The snake weighed over 150 pounds when it was captured along a canal in Miami-Dade County. Last week, a pet python killed a two-year-old girl in Central Florida.

Photo courtesy
U.S. Senate staff










                                                  Sen. Nelson calls for Burmese python ban






WASHINGTON,
July 8, 2009
(UPI)

-- Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., lobbied Wednesday for a ban on importing Burmese pythons like the one that killed a Florida toddler.

In testimony before a Senate subcommittee, Nelson called for legislation that would ban the import of pythons for the pet trade, as well as interstate transportation of the giant snakes, WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, Fla., reported. Nelson spoke a week after a 2-year-old girl in central Florida was bitten and strangled by an 8-foot python that escaped from a terrarium.

"Tragedy struck, and it's not like we haven't been warning," he said before the hearing. "That Burmese python attached its fangs to the forehead of that child."

The Burmese python, while not venomous, is one of the largest species of snakes. They can grow to be more than 20 feet long.

The pythons can be dangerous pets, occasionally killing even adults if they are not handled properly. Thousands of pythons, believed to be descended from released pets are living in the Everglades and are believed to have spread to the Florida Keys.

The snakes are believed to threaten native wildlife. Nelson said there is also a chance a snake could attack an unwary tourist
.


© 2009 United Press International, Inc.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 10:12:48 am »










                          Sen. Nelson pleads to ban pythons, constrictor snakes, as pets






By WHITNEY BRYEN
NaplesNews.com
Posted July 8, 2009
WASHINGTON

 
"Eat. Sleep. Kill.

This is the constant focus for a python."


David Tetzlaff, director of the Naples Zoo, said the prehistory creatures are animals, after all, and defense is their natural instinct.

After 46 years of experience handling snakes, Tetzlaff bares the scars of dozens of snake bites.

A Burmese python reaches an average length of 14 to 18 feet and can weigh more than 200 pounds, Tetzlaff said. Once a snake reaches five feet, it could easily kill a small child and anything longer than 10 feet could kill an adult.

“There is no reason these types of snakes should be readily available for the public,” Tetzlaff said. “The average person shouldn’t have a snake this size as a pet. It could kill you. There is no reason to have that in your house.”

And Tetzlaff is not alone in that belief.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson presented a bill to Congress that would restrict access and transportation of pythons at a hearing Wednesday.

Nelson, D-Fla., began his argument by describing the recent death of a 2-year-old girl caused by a pet python in Sumter County.

“An eight-foot albino Burmese python escaped from its container, slithered through the house and up into a crib where 2-year-old Shaiunna lay asleep,” Nelson said. “The snake bit the child and wrapped itself around her body. By the time the paramedics had arrived, the child was already dead from asphyxiation.”

Shaiunna is the fourth death by a python in the U.S. since 2006, according to the Humane Society. There have been 12 since 1980.

Senate Bill 373 would classify pythons as an injurious animal, and would prohibit the importation of the snakes between states.

The hope is that the bill would make the transportation and ownership of a python difficult and eventually lead to the demise of pet pythons in the U.S., according to staff from Nelson’s Washington office.

Beth Preiss, director of the Exotic Pets Campaign for the national Humane Society, said preventing interstate trade of the snakes will go a long way toward decreasing the number of pet pythons.

“We strongly support Senator Nelson’s bill,” Preiss said.

To keep a python in Florida, an owner must comply with state restrictions which include handling experience, permits and implanting a chip in the snake.

Mike Shepherd, owner of Pets Plus in Golden Gate, said lawmakers are trying to destroy the pet industry completely and this bill would make it nearly impossible to get a python.

Shepherd said the recent tragedy is an isolated incident that is being blown out of proportion and is an excuse to shut down the snake industry.

“It’s not the snake’s fault, what happened to that little girl,” Shepherd said. “Just like any other pet, it’s the responsibility of the owner to make sure the snake is in the proper cage.”

Shepherd said he has had hundreds of snakes, including pythons, in his house and never experienced any problems.

He said snakes actually make great pets because they are low maintenance and quiet.

“They won’t bother anyone,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd said that snakes measuring more than 12 feet are not appropriate house pets.

Nelson said the pythons are not only an unsafe pet but are also causing ecological problems in the Everglades by preying on other wildlife.

There are an estimated 100,000 or more pythons in the Everglades, according to a press release from Nelson’s office.

Nelson said pythons are an “endangerment to humans, and endangerment to the natural ecological phenomena of what mother nature intended because of this snake going after all other prey.”

The increasing python population is due to local pet owners abandoning their snakes in the Everglades, Nelson said.

Tetzlaff said he is also concerned about the pythons in the Everglades harming not only the ecosystem but humans.

“It’s only a matter of time before one of those snakes gets someone,” Tetzlaff said.

Nelson filed the legislation to ban the importation of Burmese pythons in February, but said he has been pushing for action for three years.

“Because we have this problem in Florida, I have been asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, administratively, to do something about the import and for three years, and they have not,” Nelson said during the hearing.

The bill will go to a vote by the full Environment Committee.

Nelson told members of Congress his proposal is a slight change in the law and that it would be a solution to the “ecological crisis” caused by the pythons.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 10:14:23 am »










                                 'Python posse' set to hunt Florida snakes. Is it overkill?
           





 Patrik Jonsson
– Wed Jul 15, 2009
CSM
Atlanta

– Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is convening the nation's first "python posse," an extraordinary hunt to cull a population of up to 150,000 slithering beasts from state lands and, potentially, Everglades National Park.

The bounty hunt proposal comes after the recent death of a Florida toddler by an escaped pet python and a congressional hearing last week where Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) unrolled a 17-foot skin from a python captured in the Everglades.

Senator Nelson says it's just a matter of time before a python of similar size attacks a tourist in the Everglades.

"There's one way to do this: kill the snakes," Nelson told The Miami Herald in an e-mail.

To be sure, a hunt for feral snakes in the "river of grass" responds to many peoples' primal and mythical fear of snakes and other man-eating animals, especially non-native ones.

The Burmese python, which can grow to 20 feet and is known to eat alligators, established a wild population in the 1990s after being released by humans who'd kept them as pets.

But is killing the pythons really the right answer?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal rights group, says no.

"This is the alligator in the New York City sewer times 100,000, and all this could have been avoided by common-sense legislation," says Martin Mersereaux, a spokesman for PETA in Norfolk, Va. "It's not these snakes' fault that they're proliferating, and now we have a massacre at hand."

PETA plans to write a letter to US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who will ultimately have to approve any python hunt in a national park. The letter will call for a ban on exotic pets in the US and assurances that a hunt will be humane, since snakes are notoriously difficult to kill without causing suffering.

But what do snake experts have to say about the legitimacy of a first-ever US python hunt?

Harry Greene has loved snakes since he was a kid growing up in Texas, then followed his passion to become an ecology professor and resident snake expert at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Dr. Greene's view as a pro-snakes guy: A hunt is sad for animals unlikely to claim human victims. But in the end, it's probably necessary. Over the years, pythons have killed 12 people in the US.

The greatest danger, he says, is to both common and sensitive species in the park, including rare wood rats, Florida panthers, birds, and even alligators – who are hunted in Florida outside the Everglades National Park.

"It doesn't trouble me personally," says Greene. "If there's good evidence that management is needed and if a bounty hunt is the most efficient way to do that, I'm all for it. I don't think [the risk to humans] is hyperbole, though I think it's very low."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says as many as 20 professional trappers could be ready within a week to capture and kill snakes on state lands. It will be a humane hunt, the commission's chairman, Rodney Barreto, told The Miami Herald. A separate hunt in the Everglades, where most of the snakes live, is also in the works.

"This is not the wild, wild West. These people will be licensed, trained, and managed by us," Mr. Barreto told the Herald.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2009, 10:15:35 am »










                                           Florida Goes to War Against the Pythons





 
YAHOO NEWS
Tim Padgett
/ The Everglades
– Sun Jul 19, 2009

This is the Everglades that they paste on brochures. Summer rains have raised the waters, and lily pads blooming in the searing sun give the sprawling wetlands a Monet mood. But as his airboat glides through the sawgrass lanes 30 miles west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ron Bergeron is looking for the worst invasive menace (aside from sugarcane and the Army Corps of Engineers) that the "river of grass" has ever faced. "They like to sneak onto islands like this one," says Bergeron, 65, a self-described "glades cracker" who has spent almost as much of his life out here as alligators do. "They know birds and animals take refuge on them."


Bergeron is a smart gladesman. He pulls up to the tree hammock, and no sooner have herpetologists Shawn Heflick and Greg Graziani hopped off the airboat, armed with snake hooks, than they find a nearly 10-ft. Burmese python slithering through the mud. Graziani swoops down and grabs the angry serpent's tail while Heflick goes for the other end. After a brief struggle in which Heflick gets his hand bloodied by a sharp snake tooth, they pull its head with its camouflage-like design into their clutches. "It was trying to cool off deep down there in the slime in this heat," says Heflick, lifting the python like a trophy as it coils around his forearm and flashes its forked tongue in protest. "Makes it harder to find them this time of year." When they get back to dry land, they'll kill it. (See pictures of the work of wildlife forensic scientists.)


So begins the first day for Florida's first officially designated python posse. The population of these voracious non-native snakes has exploded so frighteningly in this decade - as many as 150,000 are estimated to be crawling through the Everglades today and moving north - that the state has launched a hunting offensive to eradicate them before they in turn wipe out whole endangered species native to the peninsula, like wood storks and white-tailed deer. Or before they become a human threat: the python problem took a tragic turn this month when a two-year-old girl was strangled to death in her crib by a 9-ft python illegally kept as a pet in her house near Orlando. (Read a story about the python infestation of Florida.)


Since then, Florida officials like Bergeron and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson have ramped up the python-purge campaign. On Friday, FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto issued the first snake hunting permits for state lands, and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar did likewise for Big Cypress National Wildlife Refuge. (Hunting is barred in Everglades National Park, but Salazar may allow it in this case.) Researchers are even developing a python drone, a small remote-controlled airplane that can detect the constrictors. For now only reptile experts like Graziani and Heflick have permission to hunt the serpents (the use of firearms against the reptiles is still on hold). But given how rapidly the pythons breed and how big they get - a 13-footer ate a 6-ft. alligator a few years ago - Bergeron expects skilled gladesmen armed with traps, bows and guns to be recruited for bounty hunting soon. "These monsters are challenging the top of the food chain out here," he says, "and it's not natural."


Naturally, Floridians themselves have played a role in creating the mess. The Sunshine State loves its exotic pets, and sales of pythons, most imported from South Asia, reached $10 million in the state last year. But too many naive buyers, when they discover what a large and expensive chore caring for these snakes can be, simply get rid of them. And because there aren't a lot of adopt-a-python agencies, they often get dumped in the wild. As a result, Florida last year laid down new ownership requirements, such as $100 annual permits, proof of snake-handling skills and microchips embedded in pythons' hides to keep tabs on their whereabouts.


After the posse "euthanizes" the morning's catch by swiftly severing its brain stem, they examine her entrails. "She was eating well out there," says Graziani, noting the large fatty deposits and the animal fur in her poop. But the snakes are now the prey: everyone from politicians to glades crackers has pledged to stop the invasion of the pythons.



View this article on
Time.com

Related articles on
Time.com:

Florida Wrestles With Its Python Problem
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2009, 06:18:56 am »










                                         Florida Goes to War Against the Pythons
           




 
Tim Padgett
Time.com
The Everglades
– Mon Jul 20, 2009

This is the Everglades that they paste on brochures. Summer rains have raised the waters, and lily pads blooming in the searing sun give the sprawling wetlands a Monet mood. But as his airboat glides through the sawgrass lanes 30 miles west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ron Bergeron is looking for the worst invasive menace (aside from sugarcane and the Army Corps of Engineers) that the "river of grass" has ever faced. "They like to sneak onto islands like this one," says Bergeron, 65, a self-described "glades cracker" who has spent almost as much of his life out here as alligators do. "They know birds and animals take refuge on them."


Bergeron is a smart gladesman. He pulls up to the tree hammock, and no sooner have herpetologists Shawn Heflick and Greg Graziani hopped off the airboat, armed with snake hooks, than they find a nearly 10-ft. Burmese python slithering through the mud. Graziani swoops down and grabs the angry serpent's tail while Heflick goes for the other end. After a brief struggle in which Heflick gets his hand bloodied by a sharp snake tooth, they pull its head with its camouflage-like design into their clutches. "It was trying to cool off deep down there in the slime in this heat," says Heflick, lifting the python like a trophy as it coils around his forearm and flashes its forked tongue in protest. "Makes it harder to find them this time of year." When they get back to dry land, they'll kill it. (See pictures of the work of wildlife forensic scientists.)


So begins the first day for Florida's first officially designated python posse. The population of these voracious non-native snakes has exploded so frighteningly in this decade - as many as 150,000 are estimated to be crawling through the Everglades today and moving north - that the state has launched a hunting offensive to eradicate them before they in turn wipe out whole endangered species native to the peninsula, like wood storks and white-tailed deer. Or before they become a human threat: the python problem took a tragic turn this month when a two-year-old girl was strangled to death in her crib by a 9-ft python illegally kept as a pet in her house near Orlando. (Read a story about the python infestation of Florida.)


Since then, Florida officials like Bergeron and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson have ramped up the python-purge campaign. On Friday, FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto issued the first snake hunting permits for state lands, and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar did likewise for Big Cypress National Wildlife Refuge. (Hunting is barred in Everglades National Park, but Salazar may allow it in this case.) Researchers are even developing a python drone, a small remote-controlled airplane that can detect the constrictors. For now only reptile experts like Graziani and Heflick have permission to hunt the serpents (the use of firearms against the reptiles is still on hold). But given how rapidly the pythons breed and how big they get - a 13-footer ate a 6-ft. alligator a few years ago - Bergeron expects skilled gladesmen armed with traps, bows and guns to be recruited for bounty hunting soon. "These monsters are challenging the top of the food chain out here," he says, "and it's not natural."


Naturally, Floridians themselves have played a role in creating the mess. The Sunshine State loves its exotic pets, and sales of pythons, most imported from South Asia, reached $10 million in the state last year. But too many naive buyers, when they discover what a large and expensive chore caring for these snakes can be, simply get rid of them. And because there aren't a lot of adopt-a-python agencies, they often get dumped in the wild. As a result, Florida last year laid down new ownership requirements, such as $100 annual permits, proof of snake-handling skills and microchips embedded in pythons' hides to keep tabs on their whereabouts.


After the posse "euthanizes" the morning's catch by swiftly severing its brain stem, they examine her entrails. "She was eating well out there," says Graziani, noting the large fatty deposits and the animal fur in her poop. But the snakes are now the prey: everyone from politicians to glades crackers has pledged to stop the invasion of the pythons.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2009, 10:00:44 am »









                              PETA on Florida pythons: Don't just beat them to death






By Curtis Morgan |
Miami Herald
MIAMI

— Bludgeoning isn't enough. Neither is beheading. Pythons deserve both, insists People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

From anybody else, the advice might sound like overkill. But the animal rights advocacy group argues there are humane reasons for state wildlife managers to require python trappers to take the extra step of whacking, then hacking.

In a letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Thursday, PETA expressed concern over the prescribed methods for hunters participating in a new eradication program to euthanize Burmese python with either "a blunt or sharp hand-held device.''

The group argued that while American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines for euthanasia approve of "cranial concussion'' for reptiles, it also advises following up by cutting off an animal's head or otherwise severing its spinal cord.

Patricia Behnke, a spokeswoman for the FWC, called those guidelines a "laudable set of objectives for laboratory and research settings'' but "rarely practical'' for large field programs.

The agency has confined its experimental python eradication program to seven reptile experts well-versed in humane methods for dispatching the large, dangerous snakes, she said.

"These guys know what they're doing,'' she said. "That's why we hand picked them.''

The hunter who two weeks ago killed the first python caught under the program used a pocketknife to sever its spinal cord, she said.

Stephanie Bell, a cruelty case manager for Norfolk, Va.-based PETA, acknowledged the procedure might sound macabre to the public and stressed it was not the group's first choice.

"Our strong preference is, of course, to have these animals humanely rounded up and euthanized by lethal injection,'' she said.



Read the full story at
MiamiHerald.com
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy