Pythons Invade Everglades


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Foreign animals are invading the Everglades. From cane toads to fire ants, these unwelcome inhabitants are disrupting the natural ecosystem of the region. But among all the intruders, no species poses a greater threat than the Burmese python.

Burmese pythons are native to the jungles of southeast Asia. Legend has it that these pythons were once common pets, released in the Everglades by negligent owners. Another theory is that Hurricane Andrew destroyed a storage facility in 1992, unleashing hundreds of python hatchlings into the wild.

But an even more pressing problem than their way of introduction into the Everglades is the pythons’ reproductive behaviors. A wild Burm can lay a clutch of dozens (if not a hundred!) eggs each reproductive year. And now officials estimate that from three to one-hundred thousand Burmese pythons are breeding, hunting and slithering through the swamplands of south Florida.

While there is no record of a wild Burmese python ever attacking a human being, they pose a serious threat to the fragile balance of the Everglades, where forty species are currently listed as endangered. These pythons could potentially feed on the native mangrove fox squirrel and wood stork or push out the threatened eastern indigo snake. And when an invasive predator like the Burm can live up to twenty-five years in the wild, the ultimate damage to the natural ecosystem is unknown.

The state of Florida has licensed snake experts to capture the invasive pythons. Armed with ground temperature and GPS devices, these python hunters patrol the waters, tree islands and swamplands of the Everglades in search for these foreign, over-sized serpents.

Learn more information about U.S. invasive species and the Burmese python.

Check out the new Nat Geo WILD show Python Hunters, and follow their adventures in saving the Everglades from these hungry, twenty-foot long snakes. Python Hunters premieres Monday July 12 10P et/pt.

Video Preview: The python hunters run smack dab into a python in the Everglades, and almost get bitten in a very sensitive area!


Comments

  1. Rae Marie Heflick
    July 12, 2010, 9:19 pm

    This looks great. Can’t wait to see it.

  2. HollyCJohnson
    July 12, 2010, 11:59 pm

    Great job!!!! It was interesting and entertaining!!! I have told all my friends and co-workers to watch.

  3. Rae Marie Heflick
    July 13, 2010, 11:40 am

    Thoroughly enjoyable. These guys love doing this and it shows. Can’t wait for more

  4. HollyCJ
    July 13, 2010, 12:59 pm

    Can’t wait for next weeks show! Great job you guys!

  5. HollyCJ
    July 13, 2010, 1:03 pm

    Great job!!! I can’t wait to see next weeks show!!! You had the whole family watching and interested.

  6. B Fans
    July 13, 2010, 1:13 pm

    That was a sweet first episode. This show is gonna be great. But what happens to the show when they finish catching all the pythons?! Haha.

  7. CandyDiberardino
    July 13, 2010, 1:20 pm

    We LOVED the show !! Cant wait till next monday to watch another episode!We loved the sense of humor the guys have. Keep up the good work.

  8. SallyandJimYB
    July 13, 2010, 2:55 pm

    Great show! This is definitely going to be on our Monday night agenda!

  9. tgabresk
    July 13, 2010, 4:20 pm

    Such an awesome show! Very educational and entertaining at the same time!

  10. Writergirl864
    July 13, 2010, 9:54 pm

    This show has it all-it’s educational, entertaining and these guys are a blast to watch. I lol several times and then held my breath as they wrangled these snakes. I LIVE in Florida and had no idea the Everglades was full of these giants.

    Can’t wait till next Monday to see what happens next.

  11. bigfish1948
    July 14, 2010, 1:36 am

    I was disappointed in the first show. So many shots of tame Pythons made me bored. These are not hunters they are just out to collect more pets.
    I won’t watch again. It is interesting all the girls liked it.

  12. cindyj
    July 14, 2010, 1:48 am

    Well worth watching! These three are highly entertaining and thoroughly informative to boot. The banter kept me in stitches and the chases created suspense. These three are great and the show provides something for everyone. Looks like you have a hit on your hands! Kudos!!!

  13. justChaplin
    July 14, 2010, 4:13 am

    If this were the Backstreet Boys, Shawn would be the cute one.

  14. Elizabeth Romano
    July 20, 2010, 1:48 am

    What a great show!!!!! I always liked reptiles and amphibians….I don’t know why…

    I feel bad for the snakes that got abandoned by their owners..that’s horrible. Couldn’t they at least donate it to a zoo where they could survive and be cared for rather than not being able to defend itself in the wild? I really have a soft spot for rescues and abused animals becuase most of my "incredibly ugly kids with a speech impediment" are rescues.

    Man, these guys must really know what they’re doing to get that close…I just get the fear of God every time I get in the saddle or forced to walk behind my nutty mare!

  15. karen38
    July 20, 2010, 12:19 pm

    I just watched the show last night for the first time , what a neat show, all the guys are great. I like the airboat guy, Capt. Shawn I have always wanted to take a ride on an airboat, he seems like a real character. Cant wait until next week.

  16. dakotaisi
    July 29, 2010, 3:24 am

    Really enjoyed the new show. Lots of information peppered with some pretty hilarious antics from the three guys. When will there be more episodes?

  17. grandmadonna9
    November 9, 2010, 4:50 am

    The first show was great! I loved it when one of the Python Hunters squeezed the snake and was sprayed in the face and the mouth! The others laughing their heads off was great!
    I would like to know what is done with the snakes after they are caught. I suppose they are put down.
    No snakes in ALASKA!