A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

GIANT PYTHONS INVADE FLORIDA! Wrath of God or the “BEST” of Intelligent Design?

Posted by princessxxx on July 22, 2009

Pythons Wreaking Havoc in the Everglades? Send in the UAVs

http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2009-07/uavs-search-everglades-pythons?page=

USGS, University of Florida want to enlist unmanned drones in the search for invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades
By Stuart Fox Posted 07.21.2009 at 12:55 pm
Snakes on the Table: Researchers attach a radio tracker to a Burmese python. courtesy of the University of Florida

For years, Burmese pythons have invaded Florida’s Everglades National Park, preying on indigenous species. Tracking them down has proven time consuming and difficult, so Park wardens have begun testing a new hunting method imported straight from the front lines of the War on Terror: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and thermal imaging technology.

David Hallac of The National Park Service already uses manned, fixed-wing aircraft to search the Everglades for birds, and he said moving to UAVs to cut down on costs is the natural next step.

Additionally, recent tests by the scientists at the University of Florida have shown that thermal imaging can detect the snakes, even though their cold-blooded bodies reflect the heat of their environment.

According to Frank Mazzotti, an Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Florida and one of the scientists who hunts for the pythons, the snakes regulate the temperature of their nests in a way that makes them easily visible through thermal imaging.

Despite being cold blooded, the pythons keep their nests cool in the heat, and shiver to warm up the nests when it gets too cold, providing a heat contrast to the surrounding environment.

“Whether its really hot or really cold, the nest stands out on the thermal imager,” said Mazzotti. “Someone using that to find python nests might be the best move, because by going for the nests, you target the population.”

Interestingly, while both the UAV and the thermal imaging search programs are moving a head at a rapid pace, there are currently no plans to combine the two technologies and put thermal imaging cameras on the UAVs. However, that doesn’t mean the natural pairing of heat sensors and UAVs won’t occur sooner rather than later.

“We haven’t tested either, and I’m not wise enough to have a clever phrase about trying out two untested technologies together,” said Mazzotti, “but I think down the road they’re gonna get coupled.”

AND THEN THERE IS THIS SAD STORY FROM THE JACKSONVILLE OBSERVER.

Florida Child Killed by Python

Gannett News Service – Jul 2nd, 2009

 

Oxford, Florida – Authorities said they found a 2-year-old girl dead in her bed Wednesday after receiving a call that a python was strangling the child.

Gary Morse, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said that when the sheriff and the medical examiner arrived on the scene, they confirmed that 2-year-old Shaiunna Hare had died.

The snake’s owner, Charles Jason Darnell, 32, lives at the Oxford home with the child and her mother, Jaden Ashley Hare, 23. Darnell found the snake on top of the child when he got out of bed Wednesday morning, and stabbed it.

Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said that the “snake was found on top of the child, and the child had a bite mark on her head.”

The family has been interviewed by sheriff’s deputies and officials from the FWC.

Morse said Burmese pythons are “reptiles of concern that require a permit, and training in animal husbandry and proper caging.” Morse said Darnell did not have a permit.

The medical examiner has not confirmed the cause of death, and the investigation is ongoing.

Darnell told officers he placed his 8-foot, 5-inch albino Burmese python in a bag and put it in an aquarium Tuesday night, according to an FWC statement. When Darnell woke in the morning, he said he discovered the snake had escaped from both the bag and the aquarium.

He told investigators that he discovered the python on top of Shaiunna and then he stabbed the snake before calling 911, according Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Two older children were also in the residence at the time, but they were not harmed.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation with help from the FWC.

“This is a very sad situation,” said Sumter County Sheriff Bill Farmer. “We’ve never had anything like this in Sumter County or even Florida. To keep a large, unsecured snake in the house is just asking for trouble.”

Another snake – a boa constrictor between six and eight feet long – was also found in the house, but no permit is needed for constrictors.

According to the Florida Wildlife Commission, pythons are a non-native species to Florida, although some Burmese pythons have been found in parts of the state.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, has long urged Congress to ban the import and trade of the Burmese python. Under a bill he has introduced repeatedly in the Senate, pythons would immediately be added to a list of wildlife deemed invasive by federal biologists.

Currently, such animals are placed on a federal “injurious list” only after they have caused widespread damage to the environment, human health or the economy. The process, however, often takes several years or longer.

http://www.jaxobserver.com/2009/07/02/florida-child-killed-by-python/

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12 Responses to “GIANT PYTHONS INVADE FLORIDA! Wrath of God or the “BEST” of Intelligent Design?”

  1. dorian said

    pythons! poets! i’ve got a lot of reading to do! thanks guys, i do have some news posts standing by, i have to post those – after all, we’ve been covering the sacred and irreverent but not the news. in the spirit of tradition, i’ll have to post those. p’s got an interesting news post there, it looks like.
    and oh betty the good poet/bad poet posts yeah! that’s gonna give me inspiration. i gotta wait until i get my english back…

    swiss boy flay used my computer and didn’t log out – that was me under his name. anyway, he’ll be back to the land of the neutral (hah!) in a few days..

  2. princessxxx said

    you know, if i believed the bible, and i used to love all of those plague things in the bible, frogs and locusts, well
    with florida being the host to four of the meanest cities in the US, i am reminded of sodom & gomorrah with all their ‘meanness’ not to mention their location.

    i can just practically see all those pythons choking the life out of every single one of us.

    i know, that sounds sad, but, life goes on and python handbags will be all the rage in the end times.

  3. princessxxx said

    this would make a great show on discovery channel, or history channel.
    sexy guys wandering around in the everglades searching for pythons. internet rumor maybe, but i have heard there could be more than 2000. One was just discovered in bradenton.
    i’m sure FL would be thrilledd to get rid of them, why not do it on tv.
    the key…sexy shirtless guys.
    and i suppose we could have a woman with a walkietalkie.

    i wonder what the laws are for capturing these beasts?, which by the way, pythons are gorgeous.

  4. dorian said

    aw you just want to make bags and shoes. i’ll sushify them and feed myself and everybody well for a week or so.

  5. Anonymous said

    i would eat them, too. i think that would make the travel show even better, it could be a cross between
    “monster quest”
    ‘top chef’ and
    ‘project runway’

    at nite sit around the camdpfire and the bard can sing and tell ghost stories.

    it’s just, everybody has to be sexy.

  6. dorian said

    are you trying to be anonymous and sexy again, p?

  7. Princessxxx said

    “TRYING” to be sexy?
    dorian is that some sort of back handed compliment?
    hehe.

    it sure got quiet around here all of a sudden.

    anyway, slopping around in everglade swamps looking for giant pythons doesn’t sound like that much fun, but i think there is a seminole hard rock cafe nearby. in case anyone needs to gamble.

  8. princessxxx said

    Trapper: Capture Of 14-Foot Python In Bradenton A Hoax

    http://www.cfnews13.com/News/CountyByCounty/CountyStories/2009/8/13/trapper_capture_of_14foot_python_in_bradenton_a_hoax.html

    this post got a lot of hits yesterday because this guy was exposed.

  9. princessxxx said

    oh, it turns out that they were googling giant florida fish.
    that sounds like a whole nother conspiracy.

    but anyway, we can always appreciate a good hoax.
    just don’t get caught.

  10. kay~ms said

    Yes, News Channel 8 reported alot about that story. I’m looking for their “correction” but haven’t found it yet. They even reported that there were sitings of this snake but no one could catch it until this guy supposedly did.

  11. Princessxxx said

  12. Indian Real Estate…

    [...]GIANT PYTHONS INVADE FLORIDA! Wrath of God or the “BEST” of Intelligent Design? « A Different Kind of Blog[...]…

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