Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Since my last post, Florida Panther #9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 were all struck and killed by vehicles in SW Florida. There are now no more than 90. The most ever killed by vehicles in one year was 11 in 2006. With all of the development, I feel there is no hope for them.
The UN just delisted the Everglades as an Endangered World Heritage site, claiming the threat of development does not put the ecosystem at risk any longer. This is the equivalent of giving George Bush the Nobel Peace Prize. There is not a shred of evidence that the Everglades is at any less of a risk than it was when it was listed. Hard to imagine how they came to that conclusion.
I may seem cranky. I have my reasons which I will explain here soon enough. It's hot. Fort Myers set a record on Monday when the thermometer hit 98 degrees. I've never experienced a 100 degree day in Florida. (Oddly I've experienced 4 in Vermont.)
It hasn't rained much either.
By the time this is posted, I will have awoken at 4:45 am and driven across the Everglades to guide on the east coast (on Thursday 6/28). I'll watch for panthers and pray for rain.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The snake is nearly 6 feet long. To get the tube far enough down into the stomach, I would have to hold the snake and prevent him from straighting out.
The tube must go down the esophagus. Food or air into the lungs would kill the snake.
The food is a delicious blend of pureed chicken and eggs, which is fairly close to what they would eat in the wild and in truth is remarkably foul smelling.
Once the stomach is full, the snake must be relaxed and held upright to allow gravity and a little massaging to help the food stay down.
Snakes feel more comfortable when they are draped or wrapped around something. (normally a tree!!) In this case, the Indigo coiled up into my shorts and than came back down the other leg and wrapped around. That should give you an idea of how long the snake is. And how comfortable I was. It really didn't bother me until the snake decided to uncoil by backing out of my shorts. I wanted no part of that and we enticed him to come back out the way he went in.
Really....what can I say for this one?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Alligators everywhere on the lake but they stay away from the Stilt nests for some reason. Baby chicks apparently are high in cholesterol.
GECKO Update - "Progressive" the aggressive Gecko that first greeted me upon arriving here in Florida has passed away from excessive digestion by a local feline after he inadvertently stumbled into the apartment.
TSO Update - My shaved cat Tso regurgitated what is apparently a half eaten Gecko. The Gecko was a non-native species.
FLORIDA PANTHER Update - The 10th Florida Panther was killed on State Road 29 near Copeland Florida on Monday. I drive through this area every time I go on a tour. Several dozen cats have been killed here in the last few decades despite the wildlife underpasses and fencing. 10 cat fatalities would be roughly 10% of the total Florida Panther population.
Other News - I was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Society for Ethical Eco-Tourism. I'm actually excited to be part of this group as we hope to continue to promote legitimate eco-tourism and help it become the standard for all eco-tourism.
If that last bit of news shows an iota of depth in maturity I'll finish up here by announcing I still find the word Uranus funny in any context. The Calusa Nature Center Planetarium goes out of their way to remind people that the planet is pronounced "Urine-is" and not "Yur-anus".
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I drive past this sign once a week and it tempts with promises of venomous snakes and other novelties, but it's the ALBINO RACCOON that sparks the imagination.
Of course in retrospect I can't remember for the life of me what I expected before we actually went, but it was certainly more than a ghostly, maskless raccoon pacing in a tiny dilapidated cage.
I feel less disappointment and in truth more shame as if I had just paid to see the "Lobster Boy" or "Bat Boy" etc. This poor creature would certainly not last more than a few days in the wild without pigmented fur, but captivity might be worse. Who's to say.
This blog entry isn't ending well. Hmm. Well what did you expect?