Don’t visit the Florida everglades

In the southernmost part of the Florida Everglades, things have taken a wild turn. Pythons and anacondas are eating everything. What were once the most common animals in Everglades National Park – rabbits, raccoons and bobcats – are almost gone.

The culprits are snakes, which are literally fighting alligators to sit atop the swamp’s food chain. Recently, a five-metre python was found resting after devouring a deer. There aren’t many native mammals that pythons can’t choke down.

Officials can’t stop non-native pythons and anacondas from marauding in the Everglades, they can only hope to contain them.

The snakes were released by pet owners into the Everglades, where they started to breed. A female python can lay 100 eggs, though 54 is considered the norm.

When researchers struck out to count animals along a main road that runs to the southernmost tip of the park, more than 99 per cent of raccoons were gone, along with about 88 per cent of bobcats. Marsh and cottontail rabbits, as well as foxes, could not be found. Learn more here, here or here.

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