Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Something new to worry about?

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
In addition to everything else to worry about, now comes the Burmese python.

The giant snakes are slithering from Florida toward the Bay Area, very slowly to be sure, but inexorably. And they can strangle and eat an entire alligator.

The U.S. Geological Survey released a map Wednesday showing that the Bay Area has comfortable climatic conditions for the python. It also said the reptile, which prefers to swallow its prey in one gulp, is "highly adaptable to new environments" and cannot be stopped.

The snakes weigh up to 250 pounds and slither at a rate of 20 miles per month, according to USGS zoologist Gordon Rodda. They are not staying put. In fact, one of them has already slithered about 100 miles toward San Francisco.

"We have not yet identified something that would stop their spreading to the Bay Area," Rodda said.
Here's my favorite part:
The natural enemies of the python are lions, tigers and other large cats. There are few free-roaming African lions and tigers between Florida and San Francisco, the geological survey said.
I hope this is only a tongue-in-cheek article, because I think San Franciscans probably have more immediate things to worry about than Burmese pythons showing up there in 2020. But if they are heading west from Florida, I suppose they will have to pass through Texas, which will give me a perfect opportunity to test the long-standing question: Can the 7.62x54R cartridge, in fact, stop a Burmese python?

One can only wait and hope for such an opportunity.


  1. If you actually came across a python in the wild near San Antonio, that would certainly be strange! As would the "free-roaming African lions and tigers," I suppose.

    Oh, and I bet the alligators in Mitchell Lake could chomp up one of them snakes pretty good!

  2. Not only could you make a nice gunbelt from the skin, you could try making some python jerky.

  3. Heh. You could probably make several nice gun belts from one of those skins, plus a couple of hatbands.

  4. Boots, I'm voting for boots. I wonder which way them pythons will choose to go. Going past El Paso might not be a good idea since I expect that Luchese would be a natural predator. Wonder how much you could sell hand made python boots for.