If you don’t already know what a Florida speedbump is, you are about to find out. It’s an 8-foot Burmese python inching its way across a highway. When disturbed, however, she moves remarkably quickly for such a large animal. Despite her best efforts to escape, she is captured before she can breed. Please take a look at her now!
Watch the Huge Snake on the Move Now
Where Do Burmese Pythons Normally Live?
Burmese pythons are a native species of Asia from eastern India to southern China. They are also found on several islands, including Java and Bali. They like to live in jungles and grassy marshes. Younger pythons spend a lot of their time in trees. Water is essential in their habitats, and they are excellent swimmers. They can stay underwater for up to 30 minutes!
How Are Burmese Pythons Damaging the Florida Everglades?
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that up to 300,000 Burmese pythons live wild in the Florida Everglades. Since 2000, over 18,000 have already been caught, but more work is needed. These snakes can grow up to 30 feet long, but the Burmese pythons removed from the Florida Everglades are usually between eight and 10 feet.
The populations have been established from pet pythons that have either escaped or been released on purpose by irresponsible owners. They have established breeding populations, and their numbers have quickly increased. Unfortunately, they compete with native wildlife for food, especially mammals, birds, and other reptiles. A study in 2012 showed that the number of raccoons in this area had dropped by 99.3 percent due to hunting by Burmese pythons. Possum populations have also been reduced by over 98 percent. Raccoons and possums frequently forage food near water, precisely where the pythons like to hang out.
Are Burmese Pythons Dangerous to Humans?
While it is unusual for non-venomous snakes to kill humans, it can happen. There are usually around one or two cases per year throughout the world. Recorded constrictor snake fatalities in the US have been associated with captive snakes. They have either killed the snake owner who is interacting with them at the time, or they have targeted small children or infants in the house.
To date, wild-living Burmese pythons have not killed a human in Florida. However, these snakes are so large, and there are so many of them, that the possibility of it happening in the future cannot be ruled out. The general public is advised to avoid contact with these reptile world giants.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © dwi putra stock/Shutterstock.com
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