Floridians may start to see a new stone artifact on the menu-the Burmese python. In this state, this invasive species is out of control, and the government may start encouraging this new food to help control the number of this snake, as long as they are not full of toxic mercury.
However, before making recommendations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has worked with the Florida Department of Health to find out whether HG The levels in python can be used safely.
If this is the case, Python hunter Donna Kalil is already ahead of the game. She said she searched for pythons in the South Florida Water Management District and estimated that she had eaten 1
Kalier told the Sentinel: “This is a great tasting meat.” She described it as “acquired thought processes” rather than “acquired tastes.”
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The Burmese python was established in the Everglades National Park in South Florida in the mid-1990s. It may be a pet that was released or escaped and then invaded. FWC. When a species finally enters a place that should not be entered due to humans, it is invasive and disrupts the balance of its new ecosystem, which has not yet evolved to deal with foreign invaders. Previously reported on Live Science.
Recent data indicate that the python population is expanding north and west in the Sunshine State.of The longest Burmese python caught in Florida The length exceeds 18 feet (5.4 meters). Usually, they average between 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7 m). Due to its size, snakes have almost no predators and will eat all kinds of animals, including mammals, birds, and even crocodiles. Some of these prey are endangered or endangered native species, According to FWC.
It is not uncommon to eat invasive or nasty species as a means of controlling their populations.In Florida, non-natives ion fish For example, wild boar can be eaten. In the books published by the University of Florida, even the iguana is dubbed the “chicken on the tree”. Recipe ideas. So what is different about python?
Python meat may be particularly susceptible to the threat of mercury contamination, posing a threat to human health.
Mercury is a natural element in the earth’s crust, but human activities (such as mining and burning fossil fuels) cause large amounts of mercury to be released into the atmosphere. Then it will be transported back to earth through rain. Mercury pollution in the Everglades is particularly serious, because for most of the year, water evaporated from dense vegetation has resulted in the formation of a huge mercury-absorbing rain cloud that has been hovering over the area. Previously reported on Live Science.
When mercury enters our freshwater and seawater systems, certain microorganisms can absorb it and convert it into methylmercury. When a contaminated animal is eaten by another animal, this form forms in the food chain. For a giant snake that forages almost anything that is active in a mercury-eating swamp, the risk of contamination is very high when it cruises.
Some pythons found in the Everglades have previously recorded “astonishing levels of mercury,” which is more than twice as safe as Florida considers safe for food fish. Previously reported on Live Science. If humans eat, Mercury poisoning It can lead to various conditions, including neurological and chromosomal problems and birth defects.
In this new study, scientists will use captured pythons to measure the amount of mercury in tissues. FWC Wildlife Committee spokesperson Susan Neel told us that the purpose of this study is to develop and share “the recommendations for the consumption of Burmese pythons in South Florida to better communicate to the public.” CNN.
If you are worried that Kalil eats pythons a few times a week, then you don’t have to. According to the Sentinel, her daughter bought her a mercury test kit to confirm that the snake she ate was safe.
Originally published in “Life Science”.