That’s a big snake

Mike Elfenbein said he was on his way to dinner with his son when the two stumbled upon a group of guys trying to wrangle a python in Big Cypress National Preserve. “They had one guy pulling on the snake and two guys watching and that didn’t really work very well,” Mike said. So, he and his son stepped in to help, not realizing the python would be able to put up such a fight, especially when it was so outnumbered. “The five of us on top of this thing and it literally lifted us off the ground,” he said. Elfenbein said the more-than 17-foot-long snake was a fighter. “We literally put all of our weight on the snake. We sat on it and the snake pushed back and lifted us off the ground to the point where we had to rebalance ourselves and regain control,” he said. Once they overpowered the snake, they were in for another surprise. At 198 pounds, the invasive species was declared the second-heaviest python ever caught in Florida. When the snake was opened up, it was clear this thing had quite the appetite. Inside, Elfenbein said there were parts  from deer and 29 pounds of fat, proving the python wasn’t necessarily eating because it was hungry, but because as the apex predator in the Everglades, it could.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, pythons eat a variety of mammals, birds and reptiles, even alligators. Sources say the small mammals up to the size of the Florida panther have been devoured by snakes in the everglades. This comes as Elfenbein and FWC point out more pythons are being found in Central Florida. “They are going up the east coast to Palm Beach. They are moving. It’s a wave. They run out of food and they just keep going,” Mike said. Even with such a powerful snake lurking and well camouflaged in the woods, Elfenbein said the Everglades is one of his favorite places to be, but there are some things that scare him. “I walk through these swamps in the dark to get to a tree stand in the morning before the sun comes up, to be able to watch the woods come to life, knowing that a snake that big can be sitting next to me, and I’d never even know it, and how many times have I walked by that and they let me go by because I wasn’t the meal they wanted.

Want to wrangle pythons?

Florida Wildlife is hosting virtual training sessions. Python Patrol is a no-cost training program that aims to create a network of individuals throughout Florida who know how to identify Burmese pythons, report sightings and, in some cases, capture and humanely kill this invasive species. Python Patrol training is a virtual program, so participants can register from any state, not just Florida! With the annual Florida Python Challenge just weeks away, Python Patrol was created to help Floridians learn the basics of Python identification and capture.  The Florida Python Challenge begins Aug. 9 and requires this mandatory training before registration. The Python Challenge offers prizes of up to $10,000 for the most and longest invasive snakes.

Sneaky Snakes

What is the term for fear of snakes?
Common sense.

Why would the world have been a better place if Adam and Eve had been Chinese?
Because they would have eaten the snake instead of the apple.

Why can’t you trust anything a snake says?
They’re only tales.

A snake slithers into a bar…
He asks for a glass of Whiskey, but the bartender refuses and says:
“I won’t serve you. You can’t hold your alcohol.”

July 22nd Birthdays

1995 – Jazzy Sinclair, 1999 – Madison Pettis, 1993 – Selena Gomez, 1979 – A J Cook

1946 – Danny Glover, 1996 – Ezekiel Elliott , 1956 – William Dafoe, 1965 – David Spade

Morning Motivator: