A python measuring six to nine feet long was found on a platform in Biscayne Bay by a kayaker in November last year. The Burmese python was found coiled around part of a South Florida Water Management District research platform.
The python had never been seen in the areas before, and was therefore worrisome for people of the region. Pythons do not usually like sea water, and the appearance of a python in the salty water of Biscayne National Park was an indicator of the fact that the pythons are adapting to the state’s salty infringes.
Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park occupies 170,000 plus acre area. Ninety-five percent of this is water. As reported by Fox News, there are four major ecosystems in this area: mangroves, Biscayne Bay and its fish, the northern part of the Keys, and part of the world’s third-largest coral reef, according to Carissa DeCramer, the park’s chief of staff.
It is common to see crocodiles and manatees in the park, but pythons are extremely rare.
“This is incredibly rare for Biscayne National Park,” DeCramer said. “Pythons are not aquatic animals. They can swim, which is why this python was able to make it to the platform. But they’re not regularly in open water.”
Pythons are a problem in Florida. Over 2000 reports have been made only in Miame-Dade County.
The python sighted in the park was a female. The next day, it was caught and then euthanized. Authorities went on to assure the public that the park was safe despite the python that was found there. “I just want to really emphasize just how rare this sighting was,” DeCramer added. “It’s very uncommon to see pythons in the park. The park is very safe to visit.”
As reported by Miami Herald, the python’s body is now being used to educate people about different invasive species.
Park biologist Vanessa McDonough believes that the python got spooked by an angler near the canal, which is why it swam down the canal to the park.
“We don’t want people to think Biscayne Bay is teeming with pythons ready to chomp on people in the water,” she said. “We don’t want people afraid of the water.”
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