Non-native Burmese pythons killing off native species in the Florida Everglades

By Megan Carpentier
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:25 EDT
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Scientists suspect that tens of thousands of non-native Burmese pythons have invaded the Everglades, wreaking havoc on the natural ecosystem and its native species. Whether they were dumped by pet owners when they got too large (they can reach lengths of 26 feet) or simply escaped from exotic pet stores during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, they are now entrenched and reproducing.

The pythons are said to be eating everything from raccoons and opossums to deer, bobcats and even the occasional alligator. A National Academy of Sciences sight study shows that, compared to studies in the nineties, raccoon and opossum sightings are down by 99 percent; white-tailed deer sightings are down by 94 percent; and bobcat sightings are down by 89 percent — and no rabbits of foxes were spotted at all.

Watch the video, which first aired on Fox News on January 31, 2012, below:

Megan Carpentier
Megan Carpentier is the executive editor of Raw Story. She previously served as an associate editor at Talking Points Memo; the editor of news and politics at Air America; an editor at Jezebel.com; and an associate editor at Wonkette. Her published works include pieces for the Washington Post, the Washington Independent, Ms Magazine, RH Reality Check, the Women's Media Center, On the Issues, the New York Press, Bitch and Women's eNews.
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