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Florida Redux: Record Python Captured

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April 06, 2010
Florida Redux: Record Python Captured - 9

 

In case you missed my post about why Florida is the worst state in the Union to train a dog, here is more proof.

record-setting African Rock Python, the largest species of snake slithering over the Dark Continent, was nabbed in Bird Drive Basin in West Miami-Dade County. The large constrictor is capable of inhaling goats, warthogs and gators/crocs.

With a dinner menu as formidable as that, what chance does a retriever or bird dog have of surviving an encounter?

The python was a lengthy 14 feet and a formidable 140 pounds. That's bigger than just about any sporting dog out there, never mind the fact that snakes can consume prey much larger than themselves.

Check out invasive.org for more pics of the monstrous reptile.

Gun dogs are the focus of this blog, and while a snake like this could take one out, the possibility of that happening aren't that great (at least not yet), however, the epidemic of invasive species is a greater threat to our flora, fauna and ecosystems than what usually gets covered in the media (like offshore, inshore and continental drilling for oil and natural gas).

Invasive plants like salt cedar, mollusks like zebra muscles, fish like the snakehead and exotic reptiles like the African Rock Python, cost taxpayers and sportsmen alike billions of dollars per year. That's money that could be used elsewhere, like habitat enhancement (instead of reclamation or control), public-private land use agreements/easements, species survival studies and supplementation (like wood duck boxes or trap and transfer of turkeys).

Tighter restrictions on the pet, garden and aqua-culture industries are needed to curb the influx of exotics into this country. But, alas, even then it would probably do no good. Smuggling of animals ranks behind only that of guns and humans. Drug smuggling isn't even as lucrative or widespread. Still, something needs to be done and tighter restrictions, tougher punishments for offenders and an all-out war on non-native species should be part of a larger program to stop this problem. And Florida is the perfect place to start.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

Comments (9)

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from pineywoods wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

By the way, how would you go about hunting these snakes? Do they den up? What sort of habitat do they frequent? Would bait of some sort be effective? Would you cruise the canals in a boat looking for them?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

No closed season, no limits and maybe even bounties---that might help slow them down. I recently saw a program that said conditions were favorable for pythons and boas all across the southeastern US, and I don't doubt that they will spread there eventually.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

SNAKE problems are'nt just limited to Florida,I was told by a man that he had released two large pythons into Kentucky waters because of the cost of thier upkeep.At least in Florida your'e aware of what's in the water before taking a swim .Why does Florida have a season for exterminating these species instead of eliminating them when you find them ?
Does the fish and Game deptartments think a few animals might be taken illegaly if you carry a weapon all the time ?
So WHAT IF they ARE? Just call it a case of friendly fire. Bounties on these snakes should be lucrative enough to eradicate them and the money could come from those caught owning one or releasing them.The cost will be cheaper than the law settlements from future tragedies that will occur if proper steps are not taken now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

hey guys lets get a possie together and hunt these snakes down and make us some nice hat bands and belts!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

P.S. I live in the western suburbs of Broward County--not exactly a "hunting camp" but my house makes an acceptable "base camp" for this sort of thing. And the rates at the "seadog hotel" can't be beat. Mrs. Seadog is usually agreeable to house guests as long as they bathe regularly and don't steal anything. LOL The "cement pond" only has snakes & frogs in it once in a while & the dog will run the ducks off as soon as she wakes up from her nap. Seriously, Bo, if you make it down this way, get in touch--we could both have new python belts!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Hey Bo, I'm interested. It would have to be mostly for fun because I don't know of any way to get our costs covered. (Not for now anyway--I'm always thinking and the state could change the rules). There's no bounty. There's a possible profit from the skins, but they're tough to hunt so it would be hard to get enough hides. Meat might be a problem too--the gators this far South are contaminated with mercury. The only tests on pythons by the state that I know about were positive for mercury. I don't know if the tests were reliable, but it makes sense--the snakes are top preditors hunting much of the same prey as the gators. Iguana meat is safe. I'm sad to say that I still haven't taken one. I'm disadvantaged by my strict insistance on doing it legally. My neighborhood has been cleaned out--I suspect by pellet gun--legal in some places but not where I live. I need access to some private property with a lizard problem--I'm still working on that. It's pretty much the same with the pythons. I need access to some private land down in Miami-Dade County or South Broward. For public land, unless they revise the rules again, we have to wait until archery season--nothing like a good challenging hunt!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago
from Buffalo Wild Wings wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I remember getting an email one time with a picture of one of these caught in an electric fence. They are massive. In the picture I saw, it said that the snake had a full grown impala ewe in its belly and could not get under the electric fence.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

If they would at least cover my gas and other expenses, I would be willing to go down to Florida and take on killing some of these things, I would want to keep all of the meat and the skins. But they would probably find my expenses too much. I would want the iguanas included in the target animals.

What do you think Seadog? How about we partner on this deal? We could have some fun, and possibly good eating.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Bo wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

If they would at least cover my gas and other expenses, I would be willing to go down to Florida and take on killing some of these things, I would want to keep all of the meat and the skins. But they would probably find my expenses too much. I would want the iguanas included in the target animals.

What do you think Seadog? How about we partner on this deal? We could have some fun, and possibly good eating.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Buffalo Wild Wings wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I remember getting an email one time with a picture of one of these caught in an electric fence. They are massive. In the picture I saw, it said that the snake had a full grown impala ewe in its belly and could not get under the electric fence.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

hey guys lets get a possie together and hunt these snakes down and make us some nice hat bands and belts!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

SNAKE problems are'nt just limited to Florida,I was told by a man that he had released two large pythons into Kentucky waters because of the cost of thier upkeep.At least in Florida your'e aware of what's in the water before taking a swim .Why does Florida have a season for exterminating these species instead of eliminating them when you find them ?
Does the fish and Game deptartments think a few animals might be taken illegaly if you carry a weapon all the time ?
So WHAT IF they ARE? Just call it a case of friendly fire. Bounties on these snakes should be lucrative enough to eradicate them and the money could come from those caught owning one or releasing them.The cost will be cheaper than the law settlements from future tragedies that will occur if proper steps are not taken now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago
from seadog wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Hey Bo, I'm interested. It would have to be mostly for fun because I don't know of any way to get our costs covered. (Not for now anyway--I'm always thinking and the state could change the rules). There's no bounty. There's a possible profit from the skins, but they're tough to hunt so it would be hard to get enough hides. Meat might be a problem too--the gators this far South are contaminated with mercury. The only tests on pythons by the state that I know about were positive for mercury. I don't know if the tests were reliable, but it makes sense--the snakes are top preditors hunting much of the same prey as the gators. Iguana meat is safe. I'm sad to say that I still haven't taken one. I'm disadvantaged by my strict insistance on doing it legally. My neighborhood has been cleaned out--I suspect by pellet gun--legal in some places but not where I live. I need access to some private property with a lizard problem--I'm still working on that. It's pretty much the same with the pythons. I need access to some private land down in Miami-Dade County or South Broward. For public land, unless they revise the rules again, we have to wait until archery season--nothing like a good challenging hunt!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

P.S. I live in the western suburbs of Broward County--not exactly a "hunting camp" but my house makes an acceptable "base camp" for this sort of thing. And the rates at the "seadog hotel" can't be beat. Mrs. Seadog is usually agreeable to house guests as long as they bathe regularly and don't steal anything. LOL The "cement pond" only has snakes & frogs in it once in a while & the dog will run the ducks off as soon as she wakes up from her nap. Seriously, Bo, if you make it down this way, get in touch--we could both have new python belts!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

No closed season, no limits and maybe even bounties---that might help slow them down. I recently saw a program that said conditions were favorable for pythons and boas all across the southeastern US, and I don't doubt that they will spread there eventually.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

By the way, how would you go about hunting these snakes? Do they den up? What sort of habitat do they frequent? Would bait of some sort be effective? Would you cruise the canals in a boat looking for them?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)