Most experts agree that the Florida python problem originated during Hurricane Andrew. Andrew was a Category-5 storm that absolutely destroyed Southern Florida. It was during that storm that a python breeding facility was destroyed, releasing countless snakes into the nearby swamps.  

To combat the spread of the pythons, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Florida Water Management District have paid trappers to capture and kill the pythons, offering hourly rates for time spent in the swamp and cash bonuses for longer snakes. These efforts began in 2017. Guardians of the Glades is a good reality show that depicts the lives of some of these hunters, if you are interested in seeing what these hunts entail.  

On March 30 of 2022, a bobcat was filmed eating python eggs. This absolutely shocked wildlife officials, who had never seen such behavior before. The bobcat population has decreased by 90 percent since the release of the pythons. The pythons were brought to Miami in the 1980s setting the stage for the great release of this non-native species into the Florida Everglades. Tens of thousands of the pythons now live in the Everglades. They are responsible for the decline of many native animal species, including raccoons, bobcats, rabbits, foxes, and deer.

The camera recorded the bobcat feasting on the python eggs, and later the bobcat returned to find momma python nesting on those eggs. The bobcat began swiping at the python, triggering a response from the snake. The bobcat survived the attempted raid and returned the following night, and again the next morning. The two predators confronted each other once again, resulting in another stalemate. In the end, 42 python eggs in the nest had been destroyed by the bobcat. The hope is that natural predators will start feeding on the python eggs and hopefully turn the tide, and python populations could start declining.

Once again, nature can take care of itself much better than we can. Mostly, we just seem to be on the side that messes things up.

 

God bless you all, RHM.