A South Florida man recently was biking near Everglades National Park when a massive snake making its way into the marshlands blocked his path. Wellington Guzman grabbed the snake by the tail and held on for nearly on hour while he waited for the animal cops to arrive.
“I just wasn't prepared to find a snake this size,” Guzman said. “My hands were numb from holding it.”
Snakes have always been a fear for people visiting the Everglades, but now they are becoming a big problem.
We mean man-eating big. And if the snakes aren’t stopped, wildlife officials think the reptiles could take over the world (do snakes have an evil laugh? MUHAHAHAHAHA)
"It may be too late to stop the invasion of the Everglades," said Beth Preiss of The Humane Society of the United States to the Sun-Sentinel. "But it's not too late to stop it in the rest of the country."
Everglades officials have said an influx of exotic snakes, most notably Burmese pythons, are slithering roughshod over the Glades and threaten to upset the eco-system’s natural balance. Cue “Circle of Life” music.
State legislators want to ban the import of the exotic species, but pet storeowners aren’t having that. And while the two sides duke it out in meeting rooms, the pythons are expanding their territory and have been found as far south as the Keys.
The Burmese pythons, which are natives of – you guessed it – Burma and other nearby Southeast Asian countries, really aren’t at fault. It’s their irresponsible owners, who buy the snakes on the cheap as cool looking pets but soon realize they grow too large to feed, unless you plan on sacrificing the family dog or the neighbor’s kid. The snakes can grow to over 20 feet long and can weigh more than 250 pounds.
So most of the snakes are released into the wild, left to do what they were born to do – kill their way to the top of the food chain. That means alligators, crocodiles and other predators are left to battle a new, formidable enemy that has the capability of eating them. Talk about an unwanted houseguest.