Burmese Python Becomes Gator Bait In Everglades
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Everglades is known for its famous river of grass, unique wildlife and of course, those annoying and invasive Burmese pythons.
But there’s one less python slithering through the River of Grass after losing its battle with an alligator on its home turf.
A photo taken in the Everglades National Park and posted on the agency’s Facebook page shows a large python jutting out of the mouth of an equally large alligator.
The Facebook posting reads: ‘Gator and Python Report!’
“Earlier this month Park staff were notified by Mr. Steve Greene of another “Gator and Python” incident. Mr. Greene reported the following: “I saw this… as you are heading to Royal Palm. The Gator was thrashing around which caught my attention. The gator was moving fast and very determined to get under the bridge.”
Park officials said alligators, an apex predator in the Everglades, are sometimes seen consuming the large snakes.
But sometimes the reverse can happen.
In 2005, wildlife researchers found a dead, headless python after it apparently tried to digest a 6-foot-long alligator.
The 13-foot python actually bust his gut open while trying to digest the gator. The mostly intact dead gator was found sticking out of a hole in the midsection of the python, and wads of gator skin were found in the snake’s gastrointestinal tract.
Burmese pythons, according to researchers, regard the Everglades as an all-you-can-eat buffet. The snakes, which have no natural predators in the area, are native to India and other parts of Asia.
The large population of the Burmese pythons is likely due to humans releasing pets into the wild, either intentionally or in Hurricane Andrew’s aftermath in 1992.
Wildlife officials are working hard to control the python population before it undermines the ongoing efforts to restore natural water flow through the Everglades.