Explica Media's Blog

Our Involvement with Pythons

By Abdul-Haleem Muhsin
Explica Media
Explica Media Managing Director Oscar Corral sat down with PFunk Media’s Pabla Ayala at Klangbox Radio yesterday morning to speak on his upcoming film Exotic Invaders: Pythons in the Everglades. The film airs August 26, 2015 on WPBT 2 at 7 pm. Corral spoke on his experience while shooting the documentary recalling the adventure of being in the everglades riding air boats while taking in the sites of plants and animals native to the environment. It was his curiosity about invasive species in the everglades that inspired him to tackle this topic in film.
“I figured this would be a great way to do a documentary on the Everglades that has never been done before,” Corral said.
An invasive species is any plant, animal, or insect that is not native to the environment and has been introduced in some way either by people or trade. Living things are invasive if the species starts to spread at the cost of the species already native to the environment. Burmese pythons are harmful to the everglades because they are apex predators that hunt anything from small game like rodents and other small mammals to larger creatures like alligators, bobcats, and endangered birds.
“You have these massive snakes that are apex predators and they eat anything in their path…you have the entire large mammal, bird, and reptile population in jeopardy right now,” Corral said.
Pythons are great swimmers that can survive and thrive just as well in water as they would above water. As of now, there is little stopping the pythons’ rapid spread over the everglades ecosystem.
“They are just voracious predators. They encountered this ecosystem with plenty of food and nothing to stop them,” Corral said.
The Burmese Python is considered to be an ambush predator. They can wait for prey for days, months, up to a year because they have the ability to slow down their metabolism.
“Burmese Pythons could live in a tree for six months and never come down…they’re so unique and so well adapted…this is almost a better environment for them than their own native environment…they just found a luxury hotel here and stayed like every body else who comes here, they love it here,” Corral said.
The idea for a documentary first came when Florida Fish and Wildlife hosted the Python Challenge in 2013. Python hunters from all over the world descended on South Florida to hunt these massive snakes. The hunt was both a failure and a success. It spread awareness on the issue of pythons in the everglades but the number of snake’s actually caught ranged from 60-70 snakes. Scientists estimate that there are more than 100,000 Burmese pythons in the everglades. When asked about the permitted python hunters who make up the backbone of the film, Corral said all the hunters were a little crazy, but very dedicated.
“I’ve tagged along with a bunch of these guys, they’re a little nuts because they hunt pythons barehanded with no weapons…they’re basically adrenaline junkies and they go out there and they stalk the big pythons and when they find them in the tree they’ll grab them, and they’ll get bitten, and wrestle them…It’s something to watch, it’s really incredible”. Corral said
  • by admin
  • posted at 9:53 am
  • June 17, 2015

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