Tue, Jul 14, 2009 - Page 13 News List

Python attack a threat in US from invasive species 美國深受外來蟒蛇威脅

AFP

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A pet Burmese python broke out of a glass cage last week and strangled to death a two-year-old girl in her bedroom in the US state of Florida.

The tragedy was the latest and most graphic example of a problem that has plagued the state for more than a decade: a non-native species that is wreaking havoc in the Everglades, threatening the environment, native wildlife and people.

“It’s just a matter of time before one of these snakes gets to a visitor in the Florida Everglades,” said Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, from Florida.

Lawmakers are mulling over a variety of measures to address the problem. Democrat Senator Carl Levin supports a ban on imports of Asian carp, but said the aquatic species plaguing his state of Michigan are no match — in size anyway — for the Burmese python, which can grow to 5.5m and has been known to eat alligators and even deer.

“I’m glad this damn python is a long way from where I live,” Levin said, eyeing large photos that showed the python in all its menace. The photos were displayed at a hearing conducted by two Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittees.

Burmese pythons are native to southeast Asia, but they survive easily in Florida’s warm, moist climate.

Some owners have freed the fast-growing pythons into the wild and a population of them has taken hold in the Everglades. Scientists also speculate that a bevy of Burmese pythons escaped in 1992 from pet shops battered by Hurricane Andrew and have been reproducing ever since.(AFP)

美國佛羅里達州上週發生一起緬甸蟒逃出玻璃櫃,將一名兩歲女童勒死在臥房中的意外。

這起悲劇是一個困擾美國十多年的問題中,最新且最活生生的例子:一種非本土品種在大沼澤地大肆破壞,對當地環境、原生野生生物和人類造成威脅。

佛州民主黨參議員比爾.尼爾森說:「佛州大沼澤地出現外來蛇類攻擊遊客事件是遲早的問題。」

國會議員正在仔細評估各種解決問題的對策。支持立法禁止亞洲鯉魚輸入的密西根州民主黨參議員卡爾.列文說,該水生物種肆虐密西根州的規模比不上緬甸蟒對佛州造成的威脅;緬甸蟒可長至五點五公尺長,而且還吞食過鱷魚,甚至成鹿。

在參議院環境暨公共工程委員會召開的一場聽證會上,列文看著展示的大型圖片說:「我很高興這種討厭的蟒蛇出沒之處離我住的地方很遠。」這些圖片中顯示該種蟒蛇造成的各種威脅。

緬甸蟒原生於東南亞,但佛州溫暖、潮濕的氣候也相當適合牠們生存。

有些飼主把這種生長快速的蟒蛇野放,結果當中一部分佔據了大沼澤地。科學家也推斷,有一群緬甸蟒是一九九二年安德魯颶風吹毀數間寵物店時逃出來的,而且在那之後便一直在該地繁殖生長。(法新社╱翻譯:袁星塵)

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