Worst Case Scenario: Burmese Python Invasion

   The Burmese Python, one of the largest species of snakes, used to be found only in Southern and South-East Asia until a couple of decades ago when suddenly they appeared in Florida and have been a constant threat for its environment ever since.  
Worst Case Scenario: Burmese Python Invasion
Source - https://pixabay.com/en/burmese-python-snake-tree-coiled-1563666/

     
Florida, one of the hottest states in the US,  is now known not only for Miami and its gorgeous beaches, but also for less pleasant reasons after the establishment of the Burmese Python, a non-native species of snake, in that area. What started as a few isolated cases of this creature spotted in the wild has turned into an alarming phenomenon, a true invasion with disastrous consequences for the Everglades, the wetlands of Florida famous for the amazing diversity of wildlife which can be found there.

Unfortunately a lot of those species are now under a serious threat represented by

those unwanted guests who turned Everglades into their home, and since when they become adults they have no natural predators, there is nothing except humans who can stop them from breeding at a very fast pace and killing all kinds of birds, mammals and other reptiles who are in a real danger of becoming extinct.

The harsh reality encountered in Florida, where not only animals, but also people are in danger of coming face-to-face with these monsters on the road or even in their own yards, is hard to understand for those who live far away from that land of sunshine and, more recently, huge constrictor snakes. But if Burmese Pythons were able to adapt and breed fast in an evnvironment situated thousands of kilometers away from their original habitat, it’s quite easy to imagine that they can appear in other places of the world as well. If the main cause of their unexpected and worrying expansion into American soil is indeed represented by the recklessness of those animal lovers who weren’t satisfied with having cats or parrots as pets and preferred these exotic and deadly creatures as their companions, only to set them free in the wild when they realized that their cold-blooded friends had grown too large to be kept inside a house, then the possibility of witnessing such an undesired invasion in other parts of the world can't be ignored.

The perspective of coming face to face with such a creature is definitely a nightmare for most people, especially for those who live in countries with warm and hot climates; if some humans keep on buying these animals as pets and then release them out in the wild when they reach adulthood, it’s quite easy to assume that the ecological


disaster encountered nowadays in the Everglades will be repeated in many other parts of the world, where Burmese pythons might breed fast to the horror of the people and cause havoc among wildlife in those regions. From this point of view I feel a little safer because I live in a country with temperate climate and I’m convinced that large snakes cannot survive during the harsh Romanian winters, but who knows what will happen in a few decades if the global warming will intensify and the climate will change dramatically? I wouldn’t be surprised to see a monster Burmese Python  roaming free in the forests and plains of my country.

Of course, this scenario still looks more like a fantasy, but I can’t stop wondering what it became as real as it is in Florida these days, where special courses and contests are organized for those who are brave enough to go and hunt those reptiles. From what I’ve read, even if those hunting competitions were relatively successful, the issue is far from being solved because there are many other pythons who are at large in the Everglades and they keep on breeding.

This situation tells me that if such a problem became much bigger and widespread in many parts of the world it would require a lot more than a handful of enthusiasts willing to hunt those snakes to put an end to the nightmare. I guess entire armies would have to be mobilized to seek and destroy those slithering monsters; it could be a state of emergency in those regions.

A Burmese Python invasion at a global scale may still sound like a good script for a horror movie, but since there are instances when reality can be darker and scarier than any film, you never know when you can discover such a creature in your backyard, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for those who are hunting the snakes and wish them good luck in their mission of saving the Everglades and its fantastic ecosystem.
 



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