Burmese Phython Invasion

By: Vivienne Wellet

Burmese pythons are one of many other species on the invasive species list.

They can weigh up to 200 pounds and grow to over 25 feet. They are native in Southeast Asia, but over time people started to get them as pets ‘’here in Florida’’.The owners would let them free into the wild because it was either too difficult for them to take care of or they got too big. Burmese Pythons soon started breeding, and more and more snakes started showing up.

   Not only are they harming the ecosystem, but Thealso harming the native animals that live in the Everglades. Any native animal that was either  predator or prey ‘’for any other species’’ prey for the snakes.  These snakes prey on mammals, birds, reptiles, and even non-native species like the black rat. Some people question whether or not a Burmese Python can eat a human. According to Moon, a biologist  he said, ‘’It wouldn’t be impossible for that big of a snake to eat a human.’’ The snake is the 4th largest snake in the USA, ‘’after all’’. 

   They hold competitions for money to see how many pythons they can capture and kill. This year, more than 600 people entered the competition and all together caught over 300 snakes. Although that ‘’seems ‘’like’’ a lot of snakes,’’ there are still over 500,000 all around the Everglades in Florida. If the snake was 4ft in length you get 50 dollars, and an additional $25 for over 4 feet.

   A weird thing about humans and snakes is that you can eat them. According to Donna Kalil, she catches about 7ft ones and then makes their white meat into a delicious meal. Snake meat is high in neurotoxin mercury but if you prepare and cook it correctly, ‘’it can be edible, says Donna’’.’’However, she also says  ”make sure that you don’t eat it often because the meat is high in mercury. She tests it with a mercury testing kit to look for high levels of chemicals in her meat, because if she and other people ate high levels of mercury, your kidneys and liver can overwhelm and won’t work properly.

   If you were wondering, what does snake meat taste like? Daniel exclaims that it tastes like chicken but chewier after he ate the meat with a pizza dish. Snake meat might not seem “like much at all,’’ but It’s $50 dollars a pound. According to CNN, restaurants might sell Burmese python meat in their dishes or possibly make their own dish. Since there are so many in the Florida Everglades it’s a great idea to get rid of the snakes. 

Image from National Park Service

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