Make us your home page

It was time to rein in killer snakes and the idiots who let them go

There are plenty of reasons why dog people are dog people. For me at least, it's when I come through the door, Gracie the goldendoodle seems to be thrilled to death to see me — tail wagging, slobbering, running in circles.

And that's when I've only been gone for a minute to take the garbage out. After a long day at the office being accused by loyal, grateful readers of being a commie/Marxist/subversive/traitor and closeted tool of Trilateral Commission/Zionist/George Soros agents of world domination, Gracie really pours on the love.

She jumps for joy, leaping onto my chest and letting out a slow, funny, guttural moan. Lizzie, the doyenne golden retriever, who is 105 in dog years, may arouse herself from her 10-hour nap and raise an eyebrow of recognition.

Put another way, it is possible to have social interaction with a hound.

So why would anyone want to share his life and home with an animal that sees him as a cafeteria entree?

It certainly made sense a few days ago when U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar officially announced that the federal government was imposing a ban on the importation and sale across state lines of critters like the Burmese python. This was a tough call?

Apparently so. The new rules have been fought over for the past five years as the reptile community opposed the ban championed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. As Florida's senior senator, Nelson was acutely aware of the public safety threat Burmese pythons have visited upon the state, not to mention their rabbit-like population growth across the Everglades.

The huge, humorless snakes have killed people, invaded residential neighborhoods and become the pre-eminent predator of native wildlife in the Everglades.

It seems people who own these things wake up one day and notice that their 18-foot python has decided to take up residence in the family room, the den, the front porch and the attic — because it can — and it appears the snake has developed … anger management issues.

So rather than checking to see if Julia Child ever had any Burmese python fricassee recipes, these yahoos dump the reptiles in the nearest swamp.

That solves the problem.

In addition to the Burmese python ban, the new regulations would include northern and southern pythons (there's a difference?) and yellow anacondas!!!

Anacondas? Now I understand that some people crave a little excitement in their lives, but cohabiting with an anaconda would seem to be just a bit ditzy. The yellow anaconda can grow to about 10 feet and weigh several hundred pounds, and it prefers to kill and consume live prey, which is technically known as — you.

Why anyone would want to possess a snake with all the personality of a Syrian state security thug is beyond me.

Yet truly doltish folks seem to think inviting a giant snake into their domiciles is just the ticket to some real family fun.

This is no different from acquiring a Bengal tiger and expecting it to be content chasing after a ball of yarn.

The reason we have a killer snake problem in the state is that complete idiots buy them and then in a fit of genuine stupidity let them go.

So perhaps the federal ban doesn't go far enough. What we need is a law that says if you release a deadly snake in the wild, you have to live in a swamp until it's recovered.

Suddenly, Barney the Burmese python isn't so cute after all, is he?

It was time to rein in killer snakes and the idiots who let them go 01/21/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours