To the editor:
In April a 17 foot 7 inch female weighing in at 164 pounds was euthanized. She was carrying 87 eggs inside her.
In the recent years, it has come to the attention of most South Floridians that the Burmese python has become far more than an ordinary pest.
Due to the state's historically under-regulated trade laws of exotic reptiles, an overabundance of them is destroying the state's ecosystem. Our beautiful state is now implying that the reason these snakes that are destroying our Everglades is due to the release of them as former pets. The idea to bring this under control is stated by Everglades National Park superintendent Dan Kimball, "We will continue to enhance our efforts to control and manage the non-native python and to better understand the impacts on the Park." This seems to be like putting a Band-aid on an artery to stop the bleeding. This is a snake that can lay up to 100 eggs, as often as three times a year. Instead of released pets, why don't they look at the study that has been done? The genetic study done on this population suggests that the population stems from the Hurricane Andrew devastation in 1992. At least one facility had over 900 Burmese pythons at the time and was destroyed completely. The pythons being captured today seem to have the same generic origin as these snakes. Can you imagine how many pythons could have been born during the past 20 years?
USGS Director Marcia McNutt believes the problem is at a level that demands immediate remedy. In the survey, she states, "Pythons are wreaking havoc on one of America's most beautiful, treasured and naturally bountiful ecosystems. Right now, the only hope to halt further python invasion into new areas is swift, decisive and deliberate human action."
To hunt these pythons and help preserve our beautiful Everglades, one must have a permit. If they truly want to alleviate them why don't they just eliminate the permit and place a bounty on them? It is truly a problem but the State Of Florida is more interested in many a few dollars off the permit than to fix the problem! They truly have a Reptiles Of Concern (ROC) law which was enacted January 1, 2008, but this is just another way for the State of Florida to make money. This is how the government has nearly wiped out many other species! Why continue to just sit around and wring our hands?