Pythons and Anacondas Have Overrun Florida’s Everglades

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Jan. 31 2012 6:05 PM

Pythons and Anacondas Have Overrun Florida’s Everglades

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(Python reticulatus 'Marlise' is pictured before being measured during inventory on December 29, 2011 at the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany.)

Photo by MALTE CHRISTIANS/AFP/Getty Images

Somebody tell the foul-mouthed Neville Flynn from Snakes on a Plane to head to Florida, stat.

Pythons and anacondas are taking over the Florida Everglades, and officials are scrambling to prevent them from spreading north. Researchers noted in a new study that in the southernmost tip of the Everglades National Park, 99 percent of raccoons were gone, along with 88 percent of bobcats. Marsh and cottontail rabbits, as well as foxes, were nowhere to be found—unless maybe you’re looking in a giant snake’s digestive tract.

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Smaller creatures aren't the only ones threatened by the snakes; this past October, a 16-foot python was found resting after it ate a deer. The pythons are believed to be former pets released into the Everglades, and their increased numbers and voracious appetites are wreaking havoc on the natural ecosystem.

Officials are especially worried about how they can slow or stop the snakes' migration north to Georgia and Louisiana. Any volunteers?