Thursday, January 13, 2005

"It's an awesome snake."

I'll take his word for it, because I don't want to see one. Through the glass at a zoo is bad enough, but I sure don't want to see one up close and personal. As a matter of fact, I don't really want to see any snakes because I just don't like them. After decades of living here I have grown to understand their place in Mother Nature's scheme, and futilily continue to hope that one day she'll appreciate that understanding by keeping the damned things away from me.

Unlike me, Lori Oberhofer, a park wildlife technician, goes out looking for snakes -- specifically pythons -- in the Everglades with her pal, Python Pete.

The pup -- park biologist Skip Snow calls him a "detector dog" -- is part of a stepped-up effort to rid the park of pythons, constrictors that coil around Everglades prey as large as small mammals and wading birds and grow to 18 to 20 feet in their native Southeast Asia.
Oh goodie!
"He shows promise," said Oberhofer, who trains the pooch, descended from a line of bird-hunting dogs, with a rag reeking of python musk at her park research center office. The beagle does that work from the end of a red leash. His master is not too worried about a beefy python getting the pooch first, but she said she would deploy him carefully.

"I've got to have an eye on him because of the alligators out here," she said.
Oh goodie!

Already, park-goers have witnessed two headline-making battles between alligators and pythons. The first came in January 2003 when two reptiles engaged in an epic 24-hour battle. The snake finally managed to escape.

Nearly a year later, in February 2004, another snake wasn't as lucky. Park visitors saw an alligator catch one of the large snakes in its mouth and swim away victoriously.
See here and here, and if ya'll excuse me, I have to change my . . . erm, I have to . . . erm, powder my nose.


Blogger Paula said...

Gah! Gators and snakes! How can you sleep at night? All I have to worry about is a big f*cking earthquake. Oh, and Cocoa clawing my throat if I don't give her enough Meow Mix before I go to bed.

2:12 PM  

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