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Monday, March 23, 2015


     We spent last weekend camping in the Florida Everglades. It was beautiful but we didn't see any of the marsh rabbits we enjoyed there years ago. Twenty-six of them were recently released in the national park fitted with radio tracking devices. 
    When scientists began hunting them down they found 17 of the devices beep-beeping inside Burmese pythons. The huge snakes have taken over Everglades National Park with a population exceeding 10,000.  

Burmese Python and Other Invasive Species Wrecking the Ecosystem
                                                                           It's a sobering thought, 95% of the small mammals have disappeared since people started setting their pet pythons free in  South Florida years ago.  We never see raccoons, possums, or rabbits  when we go there now.  
   We don't see snakes either. Last year the park superintendent told us, "They're all over but they know how to hide. Holding a tracking device, I can be standing four-feet from one and still not see it in the brush".   
    2014's much publicized  python hunt only yielded fifty.  Unfortunately there is no remedy in sight.
    Last Saturday we hiked through a dense hammock keeping the kids close. A 65-pound deer was found inside an 18-footer two years ago. The slithering creatures are ripping up the park's food chain and will soon head north. 
   What's next on python menu? Maybe Mickey Mouse.