It has been a while since I’ve written a blog post on snakes – a blogging tradition I’ve maintained for many years now. They’ve not crossed my path in a long time – which is just fine with me. I’ve not seen any around my country property this year … aw nuts!… I shouldn’t have written that. Now I’ll be sure to see one very soon.
Anyhow, there was both good news and bad news about snakes in the media outlets today – both about pythons. What do you want first? The bad news??? OK…
Bad News: The largest Burmese Python ever captured in the Everglades was reported today as measuring close to 18 feet and weighing 164 pounds. Of course, these are invasive species – let loose there by exotic pet owners who realize that their pet reptile has outgrown its happy home. They are populating heavily in this habitat and doing what snakes do best – creating problems (see Genesis chapter 3 for validation). This Florida monster was dissected and found to have 87 eggs! These miscreants have been known to even eat deer and alligators. One of the researchers said, “A 17 1/2-foot snake could eat anything it wants.” Oh joy! But this one is dead.
Good News: There is a strange snake disease among pythons that causes them to tie themselves in knots! Known as Inclusion Body Disease – or more generically as Mad Snake Disease – it strikes captive pythons and boa constrictors. Apparently it has been isolated to a virus in rodents that has become resident in these snakes. I’m trying to feel bad for the snakes, but am having a difficult time getting there! I have always wondered how very long snakes keep themselves organized – like when they are all curled up and have to move quickly. They never seem to encounter the same troubles I have with things like hoses and extension cords.