Nature out of Balance: Koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi word meaning ‘Life out of Balance.”
Giant snakes taking over Florida everglades
In July of 2009, an 8-foot long pet Burmese python, one of the world's longest snakes, escaped from its terrarium and crawled into the Florida bedroom of a 2-year-old baby, then bit and strangled the little girl, killing her. The Burmese python's owner, Charles Darnell, discovered the snake missing from its container and found it wrapped around the child. After stabbing the python several times to get it to loosen its grip, Darnell found the 2-year-old baby girl, Shaiunna Hare, already dead.
Approximately 112,000 of these exotic Asian snakes have been imported into the United States since 1990. The Burmese python can reach a length of 26 feet and a weight of more than 200 pounds. The largest Burmese python captured in the Everglades was 16 feet long and weighed 150 pounds. Unlike boa constrictors, pythons lay eggs- lots of them. A female Burmese python may lay 50-100 eggs and will wrap its body around the clutch to keep it warm and to defend the eggs against predators. Dozens of the snakes escaped from pet shops during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The snakes have spread through the Everglade national park and now number more than 150,000. The snakes are now severely threatening the stability and life of Florida's unique eco-system, according to the Independent. Now scientists say this invasive species is silently slithering northward and could easily adapt to new habitats in about a third of the United States.
It has to be an unsettling situation for parents of small children and owners of small pets in South Florida, where thousands of Burmese pythons are slithering amok. A state-sanctioned pilot hunting program aimed at determining location and formulating an eradication plan ended on November 7, 2009 with 37 of the invasive reptiles being killed. "This was more about finding where they are and seeing if we can contain their expansion,'' Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Miami Herald. Florida legislators are trying to pass a law that will make the trade of these exotic snakes illegal in the state of Florida but admits the problem in the wild may already be beyond anyone’s ability to control. There has never been a successful eradication program of an invading snake population over such an extensive area and, experts say, it’s already too late to stem the Burmese python explosion in South Florida
They’re calling it Snake-pocalypse:The invasion of habitual areas by a larger more aggressive new breed of snakes. During Everglades python roundups, several African rock pythons – including a breeding female – have been found. Per the Orlando Sentinel, the snake is among the largest in Africa, and eats goats, wart hogs and crocodiles. The Miami Herald says “You couldn’t get a worse python to become established… these things will lunge at you.” In fact, a 10-year-old boy was killed and eaten by an African rock python in 2002 in South Africa, and in 1999, a pet African rock python in Centralia, Ill., slipped out of its enclosure and strangled a 3-year-old boy. Scientists fear the possibility also that African rock pythons will cross-breed in the Everglades with Burmese pythons, leading to a fearsome new invasive species.
Everglades bedeviled by new pythons, fear 'super snake'