Conservation Wildlife Management

Signs of the Apocalypse: 15 Weird Animal Invasions

The world ends not with a bang but a whimper? Some Mayan cataclysm? Ha! Judging by the following events, I'm guessing the world meets its doom via crazy plagues of animals. Doubt my prediction? Behold the invasion thus far! (Ok, we don't really think the world is going to end due to animal invasion, but you have to admit, these occurrences are pretty weird).
Burmese Pythons in the Everglades Snakes as long as a Suburban, and weighing more than that funny chick in Bridesmaids, have taken over the Everglades with a vengeance not seen since Godzilla. Some estimates put the number of pythons in the five figures and they show no sign of stopping. So far the coiled monsters have been found to eat opossums, raccoons, birds, and even deer (pictured). What's next? See the story of how this 16-foot python ate a deer in Florida.
Staten Island Turkeys The town of Ocean Breeze (Who named this place? Some executive from Hallmark?) on Staten Island has been at the mercy of turkeys for almost a decade and the problem's only getting worse. The birds seem to realize that they're legally protected (Yeah, Hallmark has something to do with this place) so they do whatever they darn well please. This includes scaring folks, charging children, and attacking cars. I have seen the apocalypse and it has both dark and white meat!
Snakeheads in the East It may be time to write off the eight or so states that are infested with this invasive elongated fish from Asia. How bad is the snakehead, also known as frankenfish? Let's see, it kills anything it can catch, can live where other fish can't, tastes like garbage, and can travel over land. And just recently, angler Juan Duran caught a potential world record northern snakehead that went 18 pounds on the Potomac River. Be afraid.
Slimy Miami
Thousands if not millions of giant African land snails (why is there not an accurate number of these things, are they too fast to count?) are leaving a snot-like trail all over Miami. Measuring more than seven inches in length, these slugs with a mobile home lay waste to lawns, eat gardens to the ground, destroy exterior walls and would steal your grandparents' prescription medicine if they had opposable thumbs. They are bad news on the half shell.
**Howling Problems ** Two decades of complete protection on wolves has left France with a howling problem. Since reintroducing a small number into the French Alps the French wolf population has grown to over 200 animals divided into 20 packs. Already French farmers are complaining about livestock predation and possible attacks on humans. Silly French people. The growth is considered so drastic that experts predict canis lupus lupus will be occupying the forests south of Paris by decade's end. Between the wolves and the mimes, I'd say France is through. Photo: Presse03
**Beetle Juice ** New Lenox, Illinois is the latest town in what will undoubtedly be many to fall prey to the unstoppable emerald ash beetle. This hearty accidental import from Asia feeds on tree veins as larva and the leaves as an adult. To date, the pesticide-immune insects have killed tens of millions of ash trees in 13 eastern states and show no sign of stopping.
**Hordes of Drunk Baboons ** The Cape Town, South Africa suburb of Groot Constantia is overrun with drunken, feces chunking, food stealing, pet killing baboons. The human cousins get trashed on fermented grapes from the numerous local vineyards and blow their buzz causing mayhem. Of course, local laws forbid harming the noxious vermin so one really can't blame the monkeys for taking advantage the situation. Doubt this can escalate to end times? Watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Inchworm Army African armyworms are considered to be the most destructive pests on Earth. Their name comes from their habit of marching Tecumseh Sherman style across croplands, laying waste to all in their path. Because they burrow deep underground before pupating, pesticides rarely affect them. Good thing these caterpillars from the devil's playground are confined to Africa. They're not? They've made it to the US? We're screwed. Photo:
Clouds of Pooping Birds La Grange, Kentucky is buried in avian feces every winter when the sky is blotted out by blackbirds. The crap these bird clouds drop ruins cars, cakes buildings and leads to bouts of respiratory issues and scores of pinkeye in the human population. Not realizing this is how the world ends, the Department of Agriculture has tried handling the problem with ineffective noise cannons. Hey D of A, noise cannons don't make noise when they're buried under two feet of steaming bird droppings.
Stinging Sea Nettles Hate Swimmers Stinging sea nettle jellyfish were so bad off Chesapeake Bay in the 1960s that the area almost closed shop due to the absence of tourists. Fast-forward to 2012 and they're back with a vengeance along Barnegat Bay. Attempts to net off swimming areas have been so successful (major sarcasm here) that authorities are suggesting people just get used to the fact that going swimming will result in the painful stings.
Hear the Roar of the Lionfish Accidently introduced to the eastern seaboard in the 1990s, the beautiful lionfish has taken up residence down the coast all the way to Florida and into the Caribbean. So what's the problem? This 16-inch long, one-pound beauty is covered in venomous spines that deliver an Oh-My-God-In-Heaven-That-Hurts toxic blow. They are tough to catch, have no natural enemies, and pretty much eat whatever they want. I predict they'll be swimming in our tap water by next month.
**Flying Carp **
What can grow bigger than 70 pounds in weight, launches itself 10 feet out of the water at the sound of a boat, laughed at the U.S. Army Engineer's attempt to contain it with an underwater electric fence, and is set to take over the Great Lakes any day now? Those nasty Asian carp! If Asian carp are able to gain a strong hold in the Great Lakes, experts say they could wipe out the bottom blocks of the food chain and cause serious damage to the $7 billion regional fishing indsutry. Can anything be done to stop their apocalyptic takeover?
Boring Beetles Global warming is being blamed for the widespread infestation of our western forests by the native mountain pine beetle. Although content to feed off dead trees in the past, this new wave on insect death has taken to attacking live trees, which it quickly kills by laying eggs under the bark and introducing blue stain fungus into the sapwood. The latter blocks the tree from receiving water and nutrients. Kind of like what these nasty bugs will do to us when they takeover.
Iguanas in Florida
They're an invasive species with no natural predators, carry salmonella, have overtaken parts of Florida, and don't taste like chicken. It seems as though nothing can stop these three-foot lizards from wreaking havoc in the Land of Retirement. Estimates on Florida's iguana population range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Even coyotes that try to eat the scaled pests get sick. Hell, if coyotes can't stop them is there any hope for mankind? Photo:
Yowl Dogs in Nova Scotia For years coyotes have plagued the suburbs by turning over garbage cans, eating kitty cats, and trying to stop cars by running out in front of them. In the past few years the yelping mongrels have upped their nuisance factor to include terrorizing, attacking and even killing people. This is ecspecially true in Nova Scotia. On May 15 a 14-year-old boy was attacked by a coyote and bitten in the leg. In 2009 Nova Scotia coyotes killed 19-year-old singer Taylor Mitchell while she was hiking in Cape Brenton Highlands National Park. Efforts to keep the should-be-the-fur-trim-on-a-jacket dogs at bay by predator hunters have had little success. The dogs still keep coming. Is this a sign of things to come? Yep. Photo:

The world ends not with a bang but a whimper? Some Mayan cataclysm? Ha! Judging by the following events, I’m guessing the world meets its doom via crazy plagues of animals. Doubt my prediction? Behold the invasion thus far! (Ok, we don’t really think the world is going to end due to animal invasion, but you have to admit, these occurrences are pretty weird).