Have we all calmed down from the python scare in the Everglades? Those top predators, although not un-friendly to humans, have been relegated to the back pages of our consciousness, crowded out by Hillary bashers, gun toting geeks on ‘Magnum Macchiato night’ at Starbucks and the ongoing saga of ‘Honey Boo Boo’.
Even the occasional disquieting glimpse of ‘so called’ real housewives as we flip the channel don’t replace disturbing images of slithering serpents crawling up into our toilets waiting to grab us in the middle of the night. (That’s right: worse than the fear of public speaking)
It’s time to relax. Let’s take a trip to the Florida Keys and wind down. Hey, what about Grassy Key? It’s a laid back vacation paradise!
The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it’s doing the best it can to eradicate those pesky Gambian giant pouched rats.
Now wait a minute here, it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Despite extensive efforts beginning in 2007 to eradicate the invasive exotic species, state and federal officials are still attempting to kill off the last of the rats, who are friendlier to Floridians than their own State government.
In other words, they’re not as big a threat as say, Pam Bondi, the out of control Florida Attorney General who claimed in a legal brief that same-sex marriage would cause “significant public harm” which is much less than the giant pouched rat.
In fact adult rats grow up to 3 feet in length and they weigh approximately 1 kg which to the average American is about 33 pounds 2 liters.
They were released by a Grassy Key resident who had been breeding them, can live up to eight years in captivity and are docile and friendly to humans.
These rats have very poor vision but an incredibly keen sense of smell. For the last several years, the non-profit organization APOPO has been training the rats to detect buried land mines around the world. APOPO is a Nobel Peace Prize winning Belgian NGO.
So who would you rather have to protect you from ‘significant public harm’ Pam Bondi or a Gambian giant pouched rat?