Posts Tagged ‘snake’

Python v. Florida: Swallowing Ethics

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

As you probably know, Burmese pythons have been found in South Florida, including in the Florida Keys.  What is not widely reported is that the Everglades population is estimated to exceed 150,000 pythons, meaning the species is now established there permanently.  People I know there talk about the disappearance of ground dwelling birds and mammals in areas populated by the pythons.  Tragically, those tasked with addressing the problem have been using shotguns to dispatch the pythons; one avowed nature lover I know boasted driving a car over a python to protect the glades.   An ethics question:  if the snakes are now part of our eco-system, is it responsible for biologists to kill them?  …to kill them inhumanely? 

Jurisdiction after jurisdiction (and congress) is considering and often passing anti-reptile keeping legislation.  Given this, and regardless whether they are ever negligently released, is it responsible to sell tens of thousands of giant pythons each year? …to teenagers?

Here is a good link to Allen Salzberg’s coverage of the issue in HerpDigest.   Here is a link to Tom Crutchfield’s take on the issue on Kingsnake.com.  Readers of The Lizard King know that Tom Crutchfield is a pioneer in the reptile business and a world-class smuggler in his heyday- He is also a very knowledgeable guy. 

Below is the Today Show story on the Burmese pythons loose in South Florida/Keys (ps. that first shot is a boa).
 

Stephen Colbert is Afraid of Black Snakes, too!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Stephen Colbert, beacon of white, yesterday you used tarantulas to demonstrate how uncomfortable it is to talk about race in America. Stephen, if you remember, on December 14 I challenged you to open 2009 the same way God started the world, with a serpent. But here you are almost three months later covering yourself in spiders (no doubt imported from Mexico under NAFTA) when all around you are good old American metaphors for the taking up of.   Why don’t you use some of those good old American (South Carolinian) okeetee corn snakes to talk about something people really feel uncomfortable about, like sex.  Sex sells alot better than race and what man isn’t empowered by a python around his neck. Stephen, step up and let America hear your black snake moan…


 
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