Sixteen-foot-long pythons aren’t just frightening movie concepts, they are a real-life threat in the Everglades where they are annihilating the park’s mammal populations to unrecoverable numbers, researchers now say.
The pythons entered the park from households that kept the snakes as pets, and may also have been set loose by hurricanes in the ’90s, researchers say. Rangers started noticing the python’s presence in 2000, when two snakes were removed from national lands. The number of pythons has skyrocketed, with more than 300 pythons being removed from the Everglades every year since 2007. Researchers don’t know their true numbers but estimate at least tens of thousands of the giant snakes inhabit the National Everglades Park.