33 comments on “A Silent Threat

  1. Yes, I read about that a few months back, and it has given me the shivers ever since, just thinking about it. And we are three thousand miles away :-)
    It is the phenomenon of those releases, accidentally/ on purpose, that are most worrying. Each time I hear of another case of people keeping snakes in their upstairs flat, I wonder how long before….

    • Humans continue to puzzle me, maybe because I too readily apply my own standards to others. When I get a pet I’ve taken on the responsibility for the long haul. Why acquire something that will grow so very large and become potentially so dangerous? What’s the plan for keeping them at full size? …Well there isn’t really a plan I suppose, other than when they’ve outgrown you, you either ‘dispose’ of them or release them into the wild.

  2. I have lived a good portion of my life in the tropics and the American South. Animal migration is natural and a constant throughout time but what makes it more complicated is that we have decimated what might be natural predators of the new arrivals. This fact makes us responsible for checking the growth of new arrivals but humans aren’t always the best at doing that.

    I know a lot of people with fascination for snakes and as a boy, my Godfather gave me my first job: feeding mice that he fed to his collection of about 30 snakes. He was a naturalist and well-known for his work on scorpions but that is another story.

    BTW—I was born in Venezuela and we still own land there. Part of it is occupied by the Anaconda. These are perhaps the largest snakes. They spend most of their time in the water but when they come up on a road to sun themselves, they are quite a sobering sight. The indigenous claim they take humans from time to time. Most have a story of loss. The snakes are not so dangerous on land but it is in the water that they are scary and I can see this occurring with the python and hope timely action can prevent a serious problem.

    • Hi Burstmode,

      I can see the appeal of snakes as pets but there are snakes… and then there are snakes. I don’t believe something as large and potentially dangerous as a Burmese or African python should have been sold to the general public. This is not just because of the threat from escapees but I fail to see how the average amateur will accommodate and understand the needs of such an animal.

      Ah, the Anaconda. Yes, now *there’s* a snake. I don’t doubt that they are capable of taking humans. I’ve been reading that the same is said of the African python and unfortunately I missed the start of this programme I mentioned but there seemed to be a suggestion that a child had already been at least hurt in Florida by a Burmese python.

      I fear the genie has already been let out of the bottle on these two snakes.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I’ve been reading about this too, and as a native Floridian, it scares the socks off me! Especially the African Python. Growing up in Florida had it’s dangers, but nothing like this. Not sure I even want to visit there these days!!

    • I have to tell you I’ve been out in the Everglades and been so preoccupied by getting the best camera angle that I just went walking off, not really looking down at my feet. In my defense, I live somewhere that has *no* dangerous creatures so it’s not something I have to consider on a day to day basis. Well I won’t be doing *that* again!

  4. That is an amazing shot! And so true, the presence of these species can wreak havoc on local ecosystems (having grown up on another island, these things got as drilled into our heads along with ABCs)…I think I saw that python show on television over Christmas holidays! (It might have come on not long after the Queen’s speech, quite the juxtaposition:)).

    • With some of the totally unique flora and fauna on your home island, you have good reason to be especially diligent about protecting your own ecosystem. It’s great to hear the message is heavily promoted in school.

      Was the programme on at Christmas as well? I could possibly make a smart comment about snakes and the monarchy but that might be treasonous…so I won’t!

    • I got the impression the iguana was used to being around humans so if we didn’t bother him, he wouldn’t bother us. I agree with you about the snakes however. We know that snakes generally like to be left alone so you never know when one is close by …and therein lies the problem.

  5. I am equally amazed at how people keep certain animals as pets. A few years ago, my husband treated a woman who was bit by Reese’s monkey that her friend had kept as a pet. She thought she only needed to be treated with some antibiotics, but because these particular monkeys carry HIV and other various ugly diseases, the CDC had to be called in. It’s best to leave some animals in their natural habitat.

    The shot is excellent Jayne. Love the contrast between the colors.

    • This is another example of an animal that really shouldn’t have been sold as a pet in the first place. Like all primates they’re very sociable animals so if we put aside any danger to humans, to keep one alone I don’t think is fair to the monkey.
      By the way, a few troops of these now live wild in Florida too!

  6. I’ve never understood the allure of owning exotic pets like these. But I suppose to each his own pet preference. I love the shot of the iguana. The juxtaposition of the stone against the lizard’s vibrant color is very striking.

    BTW, I know you don’t really get into these things, but I have some bloggy love for you at my place.

    • I can appreciate the beauty of reptiles but I have no desire own one. I’m also such a softie for our fellow animals that I think that with things like big snakes there must rapidly come a time when keeping them in a vivarium must be such a miserable existence for the poor blighters. Snakes like to wander and explore too.

      Thanks for the bloggy love. :)

  7. Four or five feet long?!?!?! I’d have had a heart attack if I’d “met” him in person. Glad he didn’t bother you and your had your camera handy to take his pic for us…. You’re brave!
    xo jj

  8. Nice capture. But I agree, this is a disturbing situation – we had someone here own a Water Moccasin as a pet and then they just threw it in the creek! Fortunately someone from the Forest Preserve District removed it.

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