Thursday, February 21, 2008

Random Worry #2

So I've told you all before that I'm a worst-case-scenario kind of thinker, which is why stories about yellow-sack spider invasions, jellyfish catastrophes, and people-eating sand hole epidemics give me the heebies in a big, bad way. Well, here's another one for the GAH! files:

USA Today reported this week that giant Burmese pythons are colonizing Florida, because certain asshats in the state bought them as pets when they were not-so-giant Burmese pythons, and then released them into the wild after they grew too big to handle, instead of taking them to a zoo or a reptile sanctuary or Fish and Wildlife or SOMETHING that made the remotest bit of sense, particularly in contrast to the bright idea of tossing them in someone's backyard.

Recently, reports USA Today, when scientists looked at both the number of giant Burmese pythons on a footless march across Florida in the context of global warming models, they started to realize that the weather is going to warm up enough across the country, that by 2100, giant Burmese pythons very well may have colonized a third of the country, from San Francisco to Virginia. Why? Because the weather in the lower third of the US will be warm enough year-round for them to be quite cozy.

Apparently, this realization came as part of a study of NINE invasive snake species that currently reside in Florida. I am too skeeved out to want to find out what the other eight were.

"We were surprised by the map. It was bigger than we thought it was going to be," Gordon Rodda, zoologist and lead project researcher, told USA Today. "They are moving northward, there's no question."

Allegedly, according to this rag, "the giant Burmese python is not poisonous and not considered a danger to humans."

Hello, did you get the GIANT part? GIANT Burmese pythons eat GIANT things, as stated in the article, such as, and I quote, "bobcats, alligators, and deer."


Roight. Remember the story of that dude in Brazil who had to beat an anaconda off his grandson for half an hour before it uncoiled its death grip and stopped eyeing the kid as a tasty mid-afternoon snack? The anaconda generally eats caiman, deer, etc.--similar to the bobcats, alligators, deer, etc. that giant Burmese pythons are fond of consuming. Ergo, it's not such a big leap to imagine them coiling around and squishing a tasty-looking 5'3" romantic suspense writer or one of her tiny and much-beloved children.

Here's my solution--it's time for us to take proactive action and stop this insanity before it spreads and we are overcome by yellow-sack spiders, invasive jellyfish, people-eating sand holes, and giant Burmese pythons....

Florida: Saw it off. Watch it float away. Immediately stop worrying about impending giant Burmese python invasion.


Cathy in AK said...

This is why I live in Alaska--no snakes. I doubt even global warming will make it viable for them to get this far north.

Personally, if I were to be attacked by a snake I'd rather be bitten by a poisonous one that kills me quickly than by being constricted. Though with my luck, I'd get bitten by one of the types whose poison just eats away at you slowly. There ya go! Another random worry ; )

Tracy Montoya said...

I'm kind of looking forward to having that in Minnesota, too, Cathy. Sure, there are snakes, but no giant Burmese pythons, no scorpions, no household hairy spider epidemics, no nasty crab grass masquerading as grass and hiding all sorts of bugs, etc. etc. etc.

And yeah, being constricted and swallowed whole would totally suck.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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