Burmese pythons head for the Jersey shore

Posted by: Adam Aston on February 26, 2008

gator_python_600x350.jpg

Climate change is already forcing polar bears south and triggering bird migrations earlier than ever. Now the US Geological Survey reports that that Burmese pythons are spreading through the state of Florida, and may make their way as far north as New Jersey as the climate warms over the coming century.

An invasive species introduced to Florida by snake-lovers who buy them as pets and set them free when they grow too large, pythons can grow to over 20 feet long and more than 250 lbs. Despite the occasional run in with an indigenous alligator (the photo above was taken in Everglades National Park), pythons lack the natural predators that keep them in check in their native south-east Asia. So the giant serpents have been expanding steadily northward following Florida’s marshy waterways.

Though not a serious threat to humans, the snakes have been chowing down on endangered native species as they expand their range. Already the snakes have found a taste for endangered Key Largo woodrats and rare round-tailed muskrats. Just one question: How will they take to New Jersey house cat?

Reader Comments

NT

February 26, 2008 12:48 PM

The perfect pet for my 300SF studio in the city!

jason

June 12, 2008 2:52 PM

cool

jud

November 16, 2008 8:54 PM

thats bad ass

NB

December 9, 2008 1:27 PM

That is horrible I hope it dies !!!!!

Krystle

February 22, 2009 12:54 PM

Well, I have a burm myself. I live up in New England and I would never let it go! These snakes are gourgous but, I agree should not be allowed out in the wild where they are not indigenous to. I also have a gator. Please do not buy any one of these animals unless you are experienced and have the room for them fully grown!

Jeff

June 13, 2009 9:47 AM

People should be checked out before they are allowed to buy snakes or any other exotic pet. It should be the responsibility of the breeder or the store owner to make sure who they ae selling to can handle the animal. If you can't handle it, don't buy it.

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BusinessWeek correspondents John Carey and Mark Scott, cover the green scene, keeping on top of the business aspects of energy, the environment and climate change, as well as the technologies, policies, markets and people that are shaping how the earth's resources will be used in the century ahead.

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