Saturday, February 18, 2006

Another Alien Invasion of American Soil

This isn't exactly a racial issue, but it's an interesting allegorical commentary on the state of America.

I came across an article from last October while rooting through some stuff tonight. Newspaper readers and internet news fans were made rather queasy by a photo from the Everglades. The photo showed a dead and rotting, headless 13-foot Burmese python after it apparently tried to swallow a live, six-foot alligator whole. The gator was too much for it and the snake burst open trying to ingest it. On top of that, some animal or crazed human swamp rat seems to have come along and decapitated the snake.

Question: how the hell did we end up with Burmese pythons in Florida? The answer is that apparently a large number of Americans are kooky enough to import and buy these creatures as pets. Pets? What kind of pet is a huge, carnivorous snake, for God's sake?

We truly do seem to be a deranged people. On top of that, apparently enough of these weirdos in south Florida (read Cubans and Haitians and other Third Worlders, most likely) tire of their unusual "pets" and take them out into the swamps and turn the damned things loose, which is about the most insanely irresponsible thing to do imaginable.

Enough of the snakes are turning up in the Everglades now to where biologists believe they are starting to mate and breed in the wild. Around 150 Burmese pythons have been captured in the past two years, said Joe Wasilewski, a wildlife biologist and crocodile tracker. Beautiful! Just beautiful!

"It means nothing in the Everglades is safe from pythons, a top-down predator," said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor. Like human children? There are already about half a dozen deaths per year from alligator attacks in Florida. How long before some family in a Miami suburb goes up to feed the baby and finds a 15-foot monster in the crib with a large lump in the middle?

As the new reptilian gangstas on the block, the pythons are starting to muscle in on the alligators' turf, kind of like Vietnamese and Laotian gangs in L. A. horning in on the Crips' and Bloods' drug corners. A number of Everglades excursion groups have been treated to scenes reminiscent of a 1950s Grade B monster movie, in which a python and a gator have squared off to decide who is going to be who's dinner; at least four such battles have been witnessed and viedotaped by startled tourists. In previous incidents, the alligator won or the battle was an apparent draw.

"There had been some hope that alligators can control Burmese pythons," Mazzotti said. "This indicates to me it's going to be an even draw. Sometimes alligators are going to win and sometimes the python will win."

Well, let's see. We've got all kinds of Third World diseases in this country now, like eboli and West Nile viruses. Asian Avian Flu is on the way, and they figure that's a cousin to the terrible 1918 Spanish influenza that killed 600,000 Americans. There are those weird little molluscs from the Baltic that got into the Great Lakes on ships' hulls, via the St. Lawrence Seaway, and which are wiping out all kinds of American species in the Lakes. We've got those weird walking Frankenfish from China in Maryland, that are decimating our native bass and bream and catfish. Those Africanized South American killer bees are supposed to be still around somewhere. And now we've got pythons in Florida.

What's next? Black mambas? Cobras? Vampire bats? Nile and Congo crocodiles that grow to 21 feet in length? Saharan locusts? Hyenas? Wart hogs? Baboons? (The furry kind, not the black kind?) Siberian tigers? (There are morons who keep tigers as pets as well.)

Looks like there are illegal aliens we need to seal our borders against other than the two-legged kind. The four-legged kind. And the no-legged kind.

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