*Disclaimer* This is not a book related post. I know this is a book blog and I need to stay true to my brand but shhh this ain’t yo blog, don’t worry about me. Actually no, please worry about me. Pray for me. #losingit #Aintnothingwrongwithmejustmoderatelyinconveniencedbywildlife
I’m sure everyone has heard about how Pythons run rampant in the Florida Everglades. Yes? If not, let me be the first to inform you that Pythons, a species that is not native to the United States of America, are living in and around the great (Okay, debatable) state of Florida. Mostly in the Everglades. Why is this, you ask? Do you really need to ask when there is probably an entire news sector dedicated to articles titled, “Florida man/woman…” Seriously, it’s like someone took the continental United States, tilted it, and shook all the loose cannons/crazy trains down to Florida. And you guys wonder why we’re a swing state in every election.
Getting back on topic, people think it’s super cute to buy exotic pets and then release them into the wild when they decide that they don’t want them anymore. In the case of the pythons, they’ve now established permanent residency in the Everglades area and are wreaking havoc on the native populations of pretty much anything else that lives in the Everglades.
Friends, countrymen, please. If you are going to buy an exotic pet and release it, release it to a zoo. Or take it back to its home country so it can be with its people.
In other cases, these animals escape. Which was the the case of the Orlando King Cobra, who escaped from its owner and wasn’t found for almost a month. Can you imagine living in your house in the quiet suburbs of Wherever The Heck, United States (or other country in which you reside) and having to be worried about a KING COBRA showing up in your house? Nope. Didn’t sign up for this. That’s canceled. In case you’re wondering, his neighbor found it underneath her washing machine, hissing angrily at her as if she were trespassing upon his personal space and not trying to do her laundry in her own house. The wildlife police caught it, and GAVE IT BACK TO HIM. Yes, that makes perfect sense. Give the deadly snake back to the man that lost it in the first place. What could possibly go wrong?
You may be wondering why I am even bringing this up, which brings me to my next point. There was another invasive species that I have seen with my own eyes in my own backyard, and it was frightening.
What in the damn hell is this? (I didn’t actually get a picture of it, so here is one from the google machine.)
Someone please collect this strange dog from my neighborhood before it murders me and my family.
Extensive research, accompanied by occasional shrieking and mild cursing, has told me that this creature is an Argentinian Black and White Tegu. A Tegu, a reptile that is not native to Florida, is a type of monitor lizard. They seek out human affection like dogs and cats, meaning that they are not afraid of humans, but can become aggressive when they do not have human contact for a period of time. They grow up to 4 feet in length, and may kill small cats and dogs. Cool. COOL. Because Florida does not have enough overgrown lizards hanging around. Please, come on in and make yourself comfortable. Would you like some tea? Some pythons? A condom?
According to the Florida Department of Wildlife, the Black and White Tegu is not an “established” species as of yet, so they can still be stopped. Wildlife vigilantes, start your engines. (To be clear, I am not calling for the murder of these lovable cold-blooded reptiles, I just want them deported.) I do not need to become Steve Irwin every time I leave my house.
I do hope this has created some awareness. And to those who have released their pets into the wild, please know that I blame you personally for this disruption in my daily routine.