Although I based my Boogie “character” on a real-life event, I have been surprised at the number of recent snake problems in this country. Too many people have released pet snakes into the wild for many reasons. Sometimes, they couldn’t keep them where they lived. Or they grew too big. Or they became dangerous. Or maybe they got bored with them. Releasing them was easier than killing them.
I have heard people talk as though it’sFlorida’s problem. Large snakes have thrived there–and multiplied. But I’m not so sure we’re immune from the problem. It’s been said that some of the rattlesnakes that travel to the west side of our mountains in bales of hay are thriving–and inbreeding with our harmless snakes. I’ve heard of other creatures that are adapting to climates that were previously thought unsuitable. For instance, sharks are moving further north each year in search of food.
Why are we so sure that these tropical snakes, released into a colder climate, will perish? Why are we not at least checking our ponds to look for signs of these creatures on our west coast? A few years back, our state did a survey of a local pond inWashingtonState and found many species of turtles that had been released by their previous owners. Some of the turtles had inbred, creating whole new species. Although the state was looking for turtles, they also found varities of alligators! What if people are also releasing their unwanted pet snakes into our many ponds? What if they’re adapting to our colder climate? A lot of these snakes can become quite large. And dangerous.
I would like to see it become illegal to sell or have dangerous snakes in this country. Let’s not wait until we have a problem like Florida’s.