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Old October 17th, 2009 #81
Mike in Denver
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From: http://www.trailquest.net/SNsnakes_us.html


"Can we eat snakes?

All snakes are edible; even the poisonous ones (the venom sacs are located directly behind the head, removing the head removes the venom sacs). The meat is fairly good but very bony, and yes they do taste a bit like chicken. Our forefathers probably ate more snakes than we care to think about."

I've eaten diamondback rattlesnakes. It's actually quite good meat, and it is very easy and quick to skin and clean a large diamondback. Bigger snakes, pythons, anacondas, and so on, might take a bit more planning, though. Still, in the words of some country and western song, "A country boy can survive."

Snake problem solved.

Mike
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Old October 17th, 2009 #82
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World's Biggest Snake Lived in 1st "Modern" Rain Forest
Ker Than for National Geographic News
October 13, 2009

If it were still alive today, the largest snake ever known to have lived would feel right at home in South America's tropical rain forests.

That's because the modern ecosystem contains many of the same plants that grew in the massive serpent's home turf some 60 million years ago, according to a new study detailing the earliest known "modern" rain forest.

The study is based on more than 2,000 fossil leaves recently discovered in Colombia's Cerrejón coal mine—the same place where scientists had found fossils of Titanoboa cerrejonesis earlier this year.

Many of the newfound plant fossils are of palm, legume, and flowering species that still dominate South America's rain forests, said study team member Scott Wing, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

"That was kind of surprising," Wing said. "What we're seeing here is the first modern rain forest that we have any record of."

Forest Recovery

Based on the fossil leaves, scientists think Titanoboa's rain forest was a few degrees warmer and contained fewer plant species than the modern version.

This lower diversity could be evidence that the ancient forests were still recovering from the catastrophic event that killed off the dinosaurs some five million years earlier, the scientists say.

The team thinks a dino-killer asteroid may have struck several hundred miles away from Colombia, in what is now Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Such an impact could have triggered forest fires and worldwide climate change.

In fact, pollen fossils from before the impact show that South America's dino-era forests were dramatically different from the tropical rain forests Titanoboa called home.

The plant species that existed alongside the world's largest snake were so successful that many of them survived to the modern day.

Findings detailed in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ainforest.html
 
Old October 27th, 2009 #83
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Default Smuggler straps 14 pythons to his body



Quote:
A smuggler has been arrested in Norway with 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos duct taped to his body.

The 22-year-old was trying to sneak the creatures into the northern European country, along with a tarantula in his bag, customs officer Helge Breilid said.

The Norwegian citizen was stopped for a routine customs check in the southern town of Kristiansand after getting off a ferry from Hirtshals, Denmark.

Officers found the spider before deciding to give the young man a full body search.

Mr Breilid said the non-venomous creatures were hidden in stockings - one for each snake - taped to the man's abdomen.

The geckos were in boxes strapped onto his legs.

"Customs officers quickly realised the man was smuggling animals because his whole body was in constant motion," Mr Breilid was quoted by newspaper VG as saying.

Kristiansand police lawyer Johann Martin Kile told VG the man would be released after he agreed to pay a 12,500 Norwegian crown (£1,380) fine.

The reptiles have been handed over to a security firm until Norwegian authorities decide what to do with them.

The Copenhagen Post's website said the smuggler told officers he bought all the animals in Denmark.

But he did not explain if they were for him or to sell to other people, the Post continued.

"He told us he was crazy about reptiles," Mr Breilid added.

Royal pythons are the smallest species in the python family.
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20091027/...0e72c2b70.html
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Old November 7th, 2009 #84
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Florida python hunt ends with 37 of the invasive reptiles being killed
November 4, 2009


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators remove an unlicensed Burmese python from a west central Florida home in September.

It has to be an unsettling situation for parents of small children and owners of small pets in South Florida, where thousands of Burmese pythons are slithering amok.

A state-sanctioned pilot hunting program aimed at determining location and formulating an eradication plan ended Saturday with 37 of the invasive reptiles being killed.

"This was more about finding where they are and seeing if we can contain their expansion,'' Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Miami Herald.

The constrictors can measure 18 feet long and weigh 160 pounds, and wildlife officials say they could number in the tens of thousands in the South Florida region -- mostly in the Everglades.

Snake owners who released pythons when they became too large to manage are believed largely responsible for this troubling phenomenon. The snakes, which are reproducing in the wild, have become a threat to native wildlife.

The wildlife commission is collecting data from the snakes killed so far and will expand the hunting program next year. Meanwhile, licensed hunters after other species can continue to kill pythons in designated areas, including parts of the Everglades around Big Cypress National Preserve.

"If you're in there hunting, and you see a python, you can kill it,"' Hardin said.

Hunters have used nets and snares and guns to subdue the reptiles, but all legal hunting methods are allowed, including bang sticks, harpoons and spear guns.

In a letter encouraging the harvesting of pythons, posted on the commission website, Chairman Rodney Barreto wrote, "You can even have some fancy cowboy boots made from python, but I don't recommend eating the meat because testing revealed high levels of mercury in the meat -- levels well above that considered safe to eat."

The Miami Herald notes that a bill is in the works aimed at banning the trade and import of pythons and other invasive snakes into the United States.

-- Pete Thomas

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outp...thon-hunt.html
 
Old November 7th, 2009 #85
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Fla. man who faked snake capture faces charges
The Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A Bradenton man who staged the capture of a 14-foot Burmese python has been criminally charged in the hoax.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Thursday 47-year-old Justin Matthews faces charges of misusing the 911 emergency system and threatening public safety by improperly maintaining the snake.

Matthews in July notified Tampa-area media to assemble and record him capturing the snake. He said at the time it was a threat to children and had probably lived in the area for years.

After the investigation began, Matthews admitted staging the event. He said he wanted to call attention to Florida's growing python problem.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/flor...y/1318119.html
 
Old November 7th, 2009 #86
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[39 or 37?]

Statewide python hunt yields only 39 snakes

By PAUL QUINLAN

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The python posses, ordered into the Everglades on a mission to kill the giant, invasive constrictors, have finished hunting - for now.

Their take: 39 snakes. The good news: most were on the small side. The bad: that means the pythons are breeding.

Florida's first-ever python hunt began three-and-a-half months ago after Gov. Charlie Cirst ordered state wildlife officials to issue licenses to herpetologists, Gladesmen and others deemed qualified to eradicate the beasts.

The python push started weeks after a pet Burmese strangled a 2-year-old girl in Sumter County, and amid coiling fears that the snakes might take over the Everglades and slither across South Florida, devouring native wildlife and, perhaps, threatening humans.

The 15 special permits expired Oct. 31, though other licensed hunters in the state may continue to kill pythons encountered on designated hunting lands.

Officials called the test-run of the python eradication program a success, even though the body count was small compared to the oft-repeated - and, some say, exaggerated - estimates that as many as 100,000 or more pythons may now live in the Everglades. No accurate estimates exist, and scientists who study the problem say only that pythons likely number in the tens of thousands.

The relatively small take was to be expected, as pythons tend to remain hidden during daylight hours in hot weather, said Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"We went into this knowing it was a sub-optimal time of year for people to be looking for pythons," said Hardin. "They don't need to be out in the daytime. It's plenty warm. They'll spend their time hunting at night."

Of the 39 Burmese Pythons caught, slightly more than half were less than 4 feet long - further evidence that pythons are breeding in the Everglades, said Hardin. The hunters' largest catch was 10 feet, 4 inches. But the largest python found in Florida was spotted in July and measured 17 feet, 2 inches long and 26 inches around at the thickest point.

He also noted that most of the snakes were found to have empty bellies.

"It tells you they're not gorging themselves all the time, as some people might suspect," said Hardin. "They typically eat big meals but not too often."

The permit-holders were required to record details of their hunts and any snakes caught, data which dispelled misconceptions the snakes would be easy to find, said Larry Connor, the FWC biologist who compiled the snake data.

"When you go out with a group for four of five hours and find, generally, one snake - I think that's fairly realistic," Connor said.

The hunt was a ground battle in the larger war to combat the snakes' spread. In Washington on Thursday, a hearing is scheduled on the proposal from U.S. Rep. Kenrick Meek, the Miami Democrat and gubernatorial candidate, to list three types of pythons - Burmese, Northern African Rock, and Southern African Rock - as "injurious species," thus outlawing their import and trade.

Out of concern for the python hunters' safety, the 15 permits were set to expire on the same day that the general gun hunting season started.

Hardin said the state would likely expand the program and resume the hunt - perhaps before the new year.

"Certainly, we want to have some people back in place during the reproductive season, which runs roughly from January through April," Hardin said.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localne...thons1104.html
 
Old November 19th, 2009 #88
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Default One very brave woodpecker

I think I would've helped this bird get some vengence.

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Old December 8th, 2009 #89
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Default Snake in a bind after eating its own tail



Quote:
By Claire Bates
Last updated at 4:08 PM on 01st December 2009

A pet snake got itself in a bit of a bind after it mistook its own tail for a tasty dinner.

Reggie the King snake soon realised his mistake after chomping down on his back end but then couldn't release himself after his teeth had taken hold.

Luckily the hungry reptile's owner arrived on the scene before the snake began to digest its own body, and rushed him to the vet.

'Its backward facing teeth were acting like a ratchet,' vet Bob Reynolds from Faygate, West Sussex told the Mail Online.

'The snake had also dislocated its jaw in its attempt to get its mouth around the tail and this isn't easy to reverse.'

Mr Reynolds was able to gently untangle Reggie by prising its jaws open a little wider and sliding the teeth off the flesh using a probe. The whole operation took only half an hour.

'I have never seen a case like it, although I have head about it happening,' the reptiles expert said.

'There is a temptation for a snake-eater like this one to lunge at its own tail, especially if kept in a small enclosure. They can't spread themselves out and think their tails are another snake.'

Luckily the tip of the 18-year-old snake's tail hadn't entered its stomach so it hadn't come to any harm. All Reggie was left nursing was perhaps wounded pride.

King snakes range from southern Canada down to South America. They can grow up to seven feet and live up to 20 years in the wild, but can live much longer as pets.

The constrictors hunt a variety of prey from rodents to birds and other snakes... and at times even themselves.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ting-tail.html
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Old December 8th, 2009 #90
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Default Snake spits out new species of chameleon at scientist's feet



Quote:
guardian.co.uk, Monday 23 November 2009 18.03 GMT

It was so nearly known as dinner. Instead, a small and not terribly impressive chameleon has become the newest discovery of the natural world, after a startled Tanzanian snake spat a still-undigested specimen at the feet of a British scientist, who identified it as a previously unknown species.

Dr Andrew Marshall, a conservationist from York University, was surveying monkeys in the Magombera forest in Tanzania, when he stumbled across a twig snake which, frightened, coughed up the chameleon and fled. Though a colleague persuaded him not to touch it because of the risk from venom, Marshall suspected it might be a new species, and took a photograph to send to colleagues, who confirmed his suspicions.

Kinyongia magomberae, literally "the chameleon from Magombera", is the result, though Marshall told the Guardian today the fact it wasn't easy to identify is precisely what made it unique.

"The thing is, colour isn't the best thing for telling chameleons apart, since they can change colour for camouflage. They are usually identified based on the patterning and shape of the head, and the arrangement of scales. In this case it's the bulge of scales on its nose."

Happily for Marshall, shortly afterwards he spotted a second chameleon, this time alive, and was able to photograph it. The two creatures were found about six miles apart, which he believes may be the full extent of the area colonised by the extremely rare species. Though he found the specimen in 2005, his paper on the discovery, published this week, puts the find formally on record. "It takes quite a long time to convince the authorities that you have a new species," he said.

Had Marshall hoped it might be named after him? "Oh crumbs, no. The thing is, if you work in an area of conservation importance and you can give a species the name of that area it can really highlight that area. By giving it the name Magombera it raises the importance of the forest." The tiny area of jungle is currently unprotected, he said, and he hopes the find will persuade the Tanzanian authorities to extend protection.

"When we presented our findings to the local village people they were just amazed that the world now knows an animal by the Swahili name Magombera," he said.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009...nia?CMP=AFCYAH
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Old December 9th, 2009 #91
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That kingsnake eating its tail is a California kingsnake - I had a pair of those when I lived out west. They're great pets, always eat.

Last edited by Alex Linder; December 9th, 2009 at 07:13 PM.
 
Old December 9th, 2009 #92
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King snakes can be very colorful, and I not too seriously considered getting one for that reason - but snakes with their very primitive brains and what seems to me their total lack of a capability for showing affection, creep me out.

Another beast that gives me the heebie-jeebies: the ostrich. Utterly mindless aggression controlling talons that can disembowel a man.
 
Old December 9th, 2009 #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N.B. Forrest View Post
King snakes can be very colorful, and I not too seriously considered getting one for that reason - but snakes with their very primitive brains and what seems to me their total lack of a capability for showing affection, creep me out.
They show their affection by not making noise! Scholars and laymen alike agree that is perhaps the greatest gift one sentient being can give another - the gift of silence. Not to mention they eat no more than once a week, and their shits, like Vdare emails, are austerely infrequent.

I have not yet written a paean to snakes, but one day I will.

Quote:
Another beast that gives me the heebie-jeebies: the ostrich. Utterly mindless aggression controlling talons that can disembowel a man.
Well, if you're not in Australia, they shouldn't pose too much of a problem. Altho, as time goes by, more people get into exotic game. Retired doctor bought my great-grandmother's farm, he bought a bunch of camels for it. Nothing funnier than looking down into a Missour valley and seeing a bunch of camels!
 
Old December 10th, 2009 #94
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Quote:
They show their affection by not making noise!
Admittedly, this is a not inconsiderable point in their favor. I love dogs & cats, but the constant barks, meows and genital slurpings do begin to lose their charm after a few years.

Quote:
Well, if you're not in Australia, they shouldn't pose too much of a problem.
Oh yes, this is the sanguine attitude most people have - until that fateful doorbell beaking.
 
Old January 3rd, 2010 #95
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[Kikes = untrustworthy]

Attorney: PETA Worker Neglected Snakes in His Care

Attorney says PETA worker neglected job with exotic animal dealer in effort to shut it down

ARLINGTON, Texas December 29, 2009 (AP)

Attorneys for an exotic animal dealer have accused an employee of intentionally neglecting animals to further his work as an undercover investigator for an animal rights group.

Howard Goldman could have done more to provide food, water and care for the animals that he said were being mistreated, said Lance Evans, an attorney for Jasen and Vanessa Shaw, the owners of U.S. Global Exotics.

Instead, Goldman secretly took photos and made daily reports to send to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Evans said.

"He was more concerned about helping PETA achieve its goal of putting U.S. Global out of business than actually aiding any animals that he felt were in distress," Evans said. Goldman worked at the Arlington facility for seven months.

During that time, he did all he could to help the animals, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. She accused U.S. Global Exotics of trying "to pin the blame for a litany of horrors on the one person who actually cared about the animals."

U.S. Global Exotics is trying to regain custody of more than 26,000 animals seized by the city Dec. 15 after Goldman turned over evidence describing what he said was animal cruelty at the Internet-based company.

Arlington officials have said the raid turned up starving snakes, hundreds of reptiles packed in shipping crates and rodents that had killed and eaten each other.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports an Arlington Municipal Court judge is expected this week to decide custody of the animals.

Goldman testified last week that PETA asked him to apply for a job at U.S. Global Exotics to investigate conditions. PETA paid him $135 for each day he turned in a report while working as snake caretaker.

Evans asked Goldman on why he did not follow a posted list of duties in the snake room and let snakes go for weeks without food or water or clean cages.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=9444234
 
Old January 3rd, 2010 #97
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[Chinese exhibits Christian-level reasoning.]

Snake Repays the Kindness of Man Who Saved It?

China: Fushun resident Yu Feng says that a dying black snake he nursed back to health has repaid him by saving his family. Yu found the snake outside his home and nursed it back to health over about three weeks using herbal remedies.

He tried to release the snake a long way from home on three occasions but the snake kept coming back. Neighbours told him the snake was back to repay him so Yu called it Long Long and treated it as a pet.

Some time later Long Long roused Yu during the night. When he came to he found his mother's electric blanket was smoking. Experts say a snake is not smart enough for this feat but Yu is convinced that Long Long was repaying his kindness.

http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=82300
 
Old January 3rd, 2010 #98
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[We've let millions of brown wackos who think like their brothers below into this country over the last 40 years.]

‘Mafia driving Red Sand Boa mania’

04 Jan 2010

BANGALORE: Red Sand Boa isn’t a deadly snake. But of late, this snake - which goes by the code name ‘double engine’ - fetches around Rs 10 lakh in illegal wildlife trade. Considered to bring fortune if offered pooja, there has been a surge in sand boa trade, prompting the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) to issue a letter to all the chief wildlife wardens (CWW) of South India to control the illegal trade of this snake.

“Sand Boa isn’t generally found in and around Bangalore. But our team of authorised snake-rescuers gets at least one genuine enquiry regarding the snake every day,” says Sharat Babu R, honorary wildlife warden of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

Sharat says that some members of the religious fraternity, snake-charmers and an underworld gang are spreading the belief that if one worships the snake, he or she stands to gain a lot of money. He says that the snake is even rented out for pooja on an hourly basis.

Due to the propaganda, a large number of people including NRIs, government officials and politicians, come to South India in search of the Red Sand Boa.

It is seen that many households in villages around Bagepalli, Hiriyur, Kanakapura and Chitradurga have huge claypots filled with soil and a Red Sand Boa. Often the snake is overfed with edible and non-edible stuff to increase its weight, as the price of the snake is proportionate to its weight.

Sharat said that most of the time devotees ended up being robbed by conmen as there was always a huge amount of money involved. The situation was alarming and it needed to be handled urgently, he said.

When contacted, chief wildlife warden BK Singh said that they had received a letter from the WCCB pertaining to Red Sand Boa and that the department was preparing a reply.

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/s...P3XGzZRCAUTQ==
 
Old January 3rd, 2010 #99
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Python photographer says nature to blame

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A COOKTOWN family who watched a python eat a young wallaby in their backyard says public backlash for not helping the joey is "water off a duck's back".

The Barton-Ilic family watched from their veranda as a 4m scrub python ate a young wallaby while its mum kicked and scratched the snake in vain to save the joey.

Judith Barton-Ilic said she felt like she was watching Animal Planet with her kids Braidyn, 13, and Tiarn, 10, when the action unfolded about 4.30pm on Monday.

The story gained nationwide interest since being published on cairns.com.au, with more than 140,000 hits on Mrs Barton-Ilic's pictures of the attack.

The family came under fire as online readers posted a barrage of comments, with many attacking the family for not going to the joey's rescue.

"So, in 45 minutes, no supposed top of the chain animal went to the aid of the mother wallaby. Sickening!" wrote Elizabeth of Seddon in Victoria.

Read the comments

But Mrs Barton-Ilic defended the actions of her family, saying the snake had half the wallaby in its mouth by the time they noticed the incident.

She also said the family armed themselves with long broom handles and sticks but gave up after realising the joey was dead.

"By the time we were alerted to the situation, the wallaby was already well wrapped up by the snake," she said.

"We were actually quite upset over the whole incident, that joey we've been looking after and feeding.

"People saying we should have chopped the snake's head off and hit it with a shovel are ridiculous, there are fines up here for that stuff.

"These comments are water off a duck's back."

Pictures: Cairns snakes

RSPCA Far Northern regional inspector Cameron Buswell said the family did the right thing by letting nature take its course.

"If they killed a native snake, they would get into trouble by the EPA and the RSPCA and face hefty fines," he said.

"This is nature, this is what happens, I think the family did the right thing by letting nature take its course."

Cairns Snake Removals owner David Walton said the python could have attacked Mrs Barton-Ilic if she attempted to help the wallaby.

"People want to see joeys saved because they're cute, but it's nature," he said.

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/200...ocal-news.html
 
Old January 13th, 2010 #100
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[Latest on African rock pythons, an aggressive species, on the loose in Florida]

No sun, no slither; chilly snakes make easier targets for hunters of invasive pythons

By Paul Quinlan

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Jan. 13, 2010

THREE AFRICAN ROCK PYTHONS — the fiercest of the python breeds feared to have infested Florida wilds — were captured in the wilds of western Miami-Dade County on Tuesday, the first day of a three-day sweep targeting the aggressive reptilian invader.

The catch — one 12-footer and two 14.5-footers — brings the total number of African rock pythons bagged in Florida to at least 10, raising worries that Africa's largest snake might be breeding in the Everglades among the estimated tens of thousands of the comparatively even-tempered Burmese cousins, according to Scott Hardin, exotic-species specialist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"We're finding more and more," said LeRoy Rodgers, a scientist with the South Florida Water Management District out on the hunt. "We feel pretty certain that we're looking at at least the early part of an established population."

The hunt was planned far in advance to coincide with cold weather, when the giant snakes tend to come out of hiding to sun themselves on levees, roadsides and clearings. The severe cold snap has only helped, plunging the snakes into a lethargy that's given hunters an edge.

"We've been more successful than I would have imagined," said Denis Giardina, one of the hunters and part of a team charged with ridding the Everglades of invasive species.

The three-day strike against the African rock pythons is focusing on area where they have turned up previously, on lands southeast of the intersection of Tamiami Trail and Krome Avenue in western Miami-Dade, not far from the Miccosukee Indian casino.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/no...er-177067.html

1 COMMENT Comments feed

Invasive species began turning up in the Everglades over thirty years ago. Today they are reproducing, with no natural predators. Pet importers want to continue bringing in creatures that find their way into the neighborhood. Contact Congress and Representatives to stop importing exotics. Some owners do register and care for their pets, most do not comply: releasing, rather than responsibly euthanize. I am checking the easement, trees, and under plants in Flamingo Park before poking around!
S. C. Green
3:25 PM, 1/13/2010
 
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