Already squeezed by the invasion of the giant Burmese python, Florida now faces what one scientist calls one of the U.S. state's "worst nightmares."
Africa's largest snake—the ill-tempered, 20-foot-long (6.1-meter-long) African rock python—is colonizing the U.S. state, new discoveries suggest.
Six African rock pythons have been found in Florida since 2002. More
troubling, a pregnant female and two hatchlings have been found, which
means the aggressive reptiles have set up house.
More dangerous than even Burmese pythons—which are known to eat alligators (alligator-python picture)—the
African pythons are "so mean, they come out of the egg striking," said
Kenneth Krysko, senior herpetologist at the Florida Museum of Natural
History in Gainesville.
"This is just one vicious animal."
So far the giant snakes have been found only in a single square mile (2.6 square kilometers) of suburban area west of Miami. Pet breeders unprepared for the pythons' ferocity may have released them, Krysko said.