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Old 12-08-2014, 21:01   #61
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pirate Re: Cruising In South Florida

Sorry to hear that Cap but I think this is the new reality. Rarely go wrong being prudent.
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Old 12-08-2014, 23:19   #62
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

One of the Nile Crocks showed up in a lake in the Fruit and Spice Park in Homestead.
A friend of mine manages the park. The crock was captured and I believe done in.

There was a story today of a young boy here in Florida who was attacked by an Alligator while swimming in a lake. He got away but the gator followed him onto land.
When the doctors were sewing him up, they removed a tooth from one of his bites. The kid is going to have it made into a necklace.

A friend of mine was almost killed by a gator but he's really stupid when he drinks. He was fishing and drinking out in the glades when a small gator swam by. He thought it would be fun to jump on the gators back. It wasn't. The resulting infection from the bites almost killed him.

My house is on a canal in suburban Miami. The canal connects with the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east. I've had visits from several alligators and one crocodile. The crock was very shy and would go into the water if I tried to get close. The gators would let me walk within about three feet of them. I bet I could have reached down to touch them and lost a hand. They showed no fear even though they were only about six feet long. The crock was impressive at about ten feet.

I do know a guy who was badly bitten by a python about a mile from my house. He was trying to catch it. He is my cats veterinarian. The snake was small at about six feet and it was near his home so he was going to catch it and euthanize it. The catching part didn't go well and he was badly bitten. Once he managed to remove the snake from his arm, I think he killed it with a stick.

I'll save the story of my friend grabbing a small shark by the tail and my encounter with killer bees for another time.

(Note to other Floridians, do you think that'll keep them away?)
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Old 13-08-2014, 06:05   #63
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
Sorry to hear that Cap but I think this is the new reality. Rarely go wrong being prudent.
Better stay home, might get hit by a bus!

Again, there are ZERO reported unprovoked attacks on humans by pythons in the wild in Florida. Maybe they are so destructive there is no evidence or witnesses to report the incident??

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Clark H356 View Post
I've been to Indian Key twice and a friend of mine goes there pretty often. He single hands and stays in Russell Bay. He bathes in the water and although we didn't see any pythons in the water there last February, I was certainly thinking about them being there. I have cautioned him not to bathe as he has in the past. I don't know if they are there or not, but I will assume they are to be prudent.
No fear of the sharks, barracuda, tarpon, and mangrove snapper?
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Old 13-08-2014, 07:45   #64
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
One of the Nile Crocks showed up in a lake in the Fruit and Spice Park in Homestead.
A friend of mine manages the park. The crock was captured and I believe done in.

There was a story today of a young boy here in Florida who was attacked by an Alligator while swimming in a lake. He got away but the gator followed him onto land.
When the doctors were sewing him up, they removed a tooth from one of his bites. The kid is going to have it made into a necklace.

A friend of mine was almost killed by a gator but he's really stupid when he drinks. He was fishing and drinking out in the glades when a small gator swam by. He thought it would be fun to jump on the gators back. It wasn't. The resulting infection from the bites almost killed him.

My house is on a canal in suburban Miami. The canal connects with the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east. I've had visits from several alligators and one crocodile. The crock was very shy and would go into the water if I tried to get close. The gators would let me walk within about three feet of them. I bet I could have reached down to touch them and lost a hand. They showed no fear even though they were only about six feet long. The crock was impressive at about ten feet.

I do know a guy who was badly bitten by a python about a mile from my house. He was trying to catch it. He is my cats veterinarian. The snake was small at about six feet and it was near his home so he was going to catch it and euthanize it. The catching part didn't go well and he was badly bitten. Once he managed to remove the snake from his arm, I think he killed it with a stick.

I'll save the story of my friend grabbing a small shark by the tail and my encounter with killer bees for another time.

(Note to other Floridians, do you think that'll keep them away?)
You should add the story about the FLA mosquitos. Remember those fellows who were fishing in the canal and drunk like your friend? The mosquitos had taken aim at them, so they flipped the little boat over and took refuge under it. As the mosquito's stingers pierced the hull of that poor little boat, they just kicked them over so the giant insects would be trapped. The attack stopped, or so it seemed, until they heard the loud buzzing sound, accompanied by a swoooosshhhing sound as the whole boat lifted, and went flying down the canal....

That's why I stay in NC where I only have to worry about the 16 inch cockroaches.
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Old 13-08-2014, 08:11   #65
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

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Again, there are ZERO reported unprovoked attacks on humans by pythons in the wild in Florida. Maybe they are so destructive there is no evidence or witnesses to report the incident??
Actually that is incorrect. If you read the link above from the USGS, 4 of the attacks on their scientists were unprovoked and from behind. They speculated that the snakes had mistaken them for food/prey and then aborted their attacks after they realized their mistake so the bites were not as deep.

I will readily admit that I am already a snakophobe, so this kind of news does not sit well with me. The real problem occurs after the food sources in the wild start to dry up. Just ask residents of California suburban neighborhoods around L.A. who have their pets eaten by coyotes. Wild animals will move and go where they have to to find food. And even if they decided not to eat me, the fact that they were around looking would be enough to creep me out.
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Old 13-08-2014, 08:56   #66
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

On edit, I see Becky beat me to it. And this grabbed my attention: "... The real problem occurs after the food sources in the wild start to dry up..."

Yes indeedy. That's the real problem exactly and I suspect that critical moment is closer than many think. All of HoPCar's stories are true and buses do kill people, and all of that. I suggest this issue is magnitudes greater than any wildlife issues we've lived with in the past. bc



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... Again, there are ZERO reported unprovoked attacks on humans by pythons in the wild in Florida.
Actually there are FIVE reported over a ten-year period ending in 2012, I believe:

Researchers solicited reports of unprovoked snake attacks in Everglades National Park over a period of 10 years. Of the five incidents they compiled, all involved field biologists conducting research in remote, flooded areas of the park. Two of the attacks resulted in minor puncture wounds, while the other incidents caused no harm.
Florida's Python Invaders Rarely Attack People Unprovoked

I don't find this real comforting. The 5 biologists were all ambushed from close-in. All the snakes backed off presumably because of the size of intended victim. Perhaps they don't see well and are striking with heat sensors.Reported attacks since 2012? Who knows? This type of data is hard to come by, doncha know. Here's a fun little read from the ENP website:
The major components of the invasive animals strategy are: 1. Prevention and assessment of new invasives, 2. Management and control of established invasives, 3. Education and outreach, and 4. interagency coordination and planning.

Again, not all that comforting, eh? Especially numbers 3 & 4. If you guessed that the last python update on the site is from 2012, BINGO!

I dutifully emailed the Park Service and asked about reported unprovoked attacks since 2012. I am not anticipating much of a response but you never know. Perhaps I will run into a whistle blower rather than get the administrative shuffle.

It also occurs to me that perhaps I should be that fact gatherer. I am old so no real harm to the planet if I get nailed and squeezed. Save you youngsters some Medicare expense. Worse case is I die from eating too much snook in an awesome part of the world. I probably can't handle a big snake physically but I always carry a knife. [Note to self: upsize knife.]

I can find out where the park biologists hang out after work, maybe buy a few rounds, check out the babes, turn the talk toward those doggone pythons. Beer says I'll hear of some unprovoked attacks in the last couple of years and who knows what else? Maybe I can sell the story! Or write a book! Yeah! That's the ticket!

I'll close with two comments. First, the idea of a metal screen for companionway security comes up now and then, and I suggest it be considered as a snake repeller for So Fl boats anchoring in heavy mangrove areas. Serves double duty elsewhere too.

The other is the fact that the first known python in the Keys was on Key Largo in 2007. I say again 2007. Seven years ago. I think pythons mature at 5 years but not sure. The '07 incident was a biologist who tracked a radio-collared woodrat and found him in a python's tummy. Could have been an escaped pet to be sure but keep in mind that this problem started in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew, 22 years ago. Do the math.
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Old 13-08-2014, 09:29   #67
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

"That's why I stay in NC where I only have to worry about the 16 inch cockroaches."

Don't you feed the poor little things?

While I don't believe the growth on non-native critters in Florida presents much of a direct danger to people, it is an environmental disaster. The legislature recently passed a law restricting the import of pythons. Too little and way too late.

A friend of mine, the guy who grabbed the shark, worked with the scientists in the Everglades National Park for about twenty years. He pointed out that the law should prevent the import of any exotics unless they it's proven that they can't survive in the wild here. There is no way we're going to get rid of them now. The environment will have to change and adapt. Florida isn't the same place I remember growing up here.
It's still pretty damn interesting.
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Old 13-08-2014, 09:47   #68
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

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Again, there are ZERO reported unprovoked attacks on humans by pythons in the wild in Florida. Maybe they are so destructive there is no evidence or witnesses to report the incident??
Yep, misspoke, I meant to say zero deaths.
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Old 13-08-2014, 10:10   #69
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

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... There is no way we're going to get rid of [pythons and other exotics] now. The environment will have to change and adapt. Florida isn't the same place I remember growing up here. It's still pretty damn interesting.
Yepper. And I'd sure like to see the wildlife managers open up a public dialog on the invasive issue. It's not about blame, it's about what now?

I dunno who said it: "When the people lead, the leaders will eventually follow."
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Old 13-08-2014, 10:13   #70
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

The SFLA environment has probably been changed forever. However, all eco-systems eventually find their equilibrium points, albeit they are not always disirable ones. When the python's food chain becomes too short to support them, their numbers will pull back. They'll never make a viable food source out of humans, because there aren't enough drunk fishermen to keep expanding their species, and most of the rest of us will figure out how to avoid them.

Still, it's unpleasant to have some of the scarier aspects of the Amazon imported to SFLA. Our trillion dollar gubmint could always figure out a way to get rid of them, but there (apparently) isn't a call for such drastic action at this point. Also, I think the press feeds on this kind of thing more than the snakes do.
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Old 13-08-2014, 10:19   #71
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

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"That's why I stay in NC where I only have to worry about the 16 inch cockroaches."

Don't you feed the poor little things?

I don't think they like the fish food I'm giving them. They wrinkle their antennae at it.
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Old 13-08-2014, 10:27   #72
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

I agree that Florida's waterways are being overrun by all manner of pesky critters with no regard for human life, but look at the bright side; most of them leave in April or May.
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Old 13-08-2014, 14:51   #73
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

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I agree that Florida's waterways are being overrun by all manner of pesky critters with no regard for human life, but look at the bright side; most of them leave in April or May.
Unfortunately they come back in November. I told the Governor years ago that some day he would regret building those damn interstate highways to YankeeLand...
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Old 13-08-2014, 16:31   #74
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

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One of the Nile Crocks showed up in a lake in the Fruit and Spice Park in Homestead. ..................
All else in this post is likely quite accurate, but for the sake of truth, I want to point out that the crocodiles in south Florida are not "Nile" crocodiles. They are true American crocodiles and a small indigenous species, not brought here as an envasive species like the Burmese pythons. They are a little smaller than the Nile crocodiles and their greatest population density is found near the warm water cooling ponds of the Turkey Point nuclear power station in south Biscayne Bay. They are sometimes seen down through the area to Key Largo and west to Cape Sable. Once again, Not Nile Crocodiles, but a protected indigenous species!
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Old 13-08-2014, 18:44   #75
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Re: Cruising In South Florida

Sources repeatedly mention escapees as real Nile crocs, Cap.

On the python issue, as HopCar mentioned, the environment will change. I went looking for blogs on pythons and found one via Slate. Turns out the pythons are vulnerable to fire ants while protecting their eggs. The glades are apparently lousy with fire ants, itself an invasive exotic.

That was the good news. For the bad news see:

Green anacondas in the Everglades: The largest snake in the world has invaded the United States.

a drop-dead fascinating read and weep.
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