Category Archives: Wildlife

African Warthog Captured in Florida

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Florida warthog

FWC responded to reports of an African Warthog roaming around St. Lucie County, Florida last month. Several attempts to trap the hog were unsuccessful. A few days later, he was spotted and they tried again to snare trap it. Finally, Officer Bradley Toby had to tackle the warthog, until it could be guided into a trap. Fortunately, Toby only suffered some cuts on his legs. I hope there’s some video of the thrilling capture that gets released at some point!

 

warthog

via FWC

Unfortunately, the animal had to be put down so they could examine it for disease. There’s no indication how the warthog came to be living in Florida. This is the first I’ve heard of it: though it’s not the first African animal to be caught in Florida… while the Burmese python is the most notorious, there has been a spread of African Rock Pythons as well, which are also large and very aggressive. I’ve personally seen some Guinea Fowl wandering around residential neighborhoods here in Fort Myers: but those are nothing to be scared of! Glad the FWC officer was ok… those warthogs can be tough if you do not show them respect!

 

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Asian Water Lizard Captured on Collier Golf Course

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Kevin Hennings about to recapture Poseidon at TwinEagles

The headline makes this seem more ominous than it is, because there is not currently in invasive issue with Asian water lizards, but it must’ve been freaky for the golfers who saw the 6-foot reptile on the course! This one was an escaped pet, who made some national news when his escape was announced. Fortunately some good Samaritans notified him when “Poseidon” was spotted at TwinEagles. He was able to lure it with some frozen chicken and catch it without much difficulty. The Naples News story has the thrilling footage of the capture!

At this time, these reportedly don’t even need a permit: they are not one of the species that is currently joining the exotic invasions¬†of African lizards that Florida is dealing with right now.

The Alligators are Eating the Sharks!

gator-sharkWe have a lot of dangerous wildlife in Florida- there’s probably more things that can kill you here than anywhere but Australia! And when dangerous critters get together, there are winners and losers! A recent study was published in the Southeastern Journal documenting the frequency of alligators eating sharks. There had been some anecdotal evidence before, but the new research indicates it is much more common than realized. Sharks frequently come into brackish fresh water, and while alligators don’t live in saltwater, they can tolerate it. Naturally, when a larger predator comes into contact with a smaller critter, even if it’s also a predator, the smaller critter runs the risk of becoming lunch. I’m sure a large shark would make a meal of a smaller alligator, if given the chance. Gators certainly have learned that can make a meal out of sharks and rays!

bobcat sharkThey aren’t the only predators willing to go after sharks. A couple years ago, a man named John Bailey snapped a pic of a shark being fished out by a bobcat near Vero Beach. Like I said, there’s a lot of nasty critters in Florida!

Giant Snake on Golf Course (Not Florida)

This huge Rock Python was seen crawling across a fairway on a course in South Africa. Piece of advice from a certified snake wrangler, don’t approach them if you don’t know what they are doing. (Rock Pythons are notoriously aggressive.) It’s a matter of time In factbefore we get footage like this of an invasive Burmese in Florida

 

In fact, a couple of guys recently tried this with a snake on the side of the road in Collier County a few weeks ago…

Florida’s Other Reptile Problem

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Iguana on Key Biscayne

The Burmese Pythons have gotten a lot of press lately, and we have seen Nile Monitor lizards in Cape Coral, and mean old Tegus on the east coast, but it tends to get forgotten that there are invasive iguanas established in many places on Florida. They are not dangerous to people or animals, so they don’t get much press, but they are ubiquitous in certain areas.

 

iguanas crandonThey can be a problem, from invading housing developments and weakening retaining walls, but also to native flora and fauna. For instance: “In the Florida Keys, iguanas ate up the host plant for the endangered Miami blue butterfly in Bahia Honda State Park. Nearly 600 iguanas have been removed from the park in the last two fiscal years, according to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, but the quarter-sized butterflies haven’t returned.”

And their presence was apparent at the Miami Open, where Tommy Haas snapped a selfie of one on a court!

The Mystery of the Orange Alligator

orange-gator

An orange gator was sighted in South Carolina this week, and some people have dubbed it ‘Trump A-Gator‘. Those people are wrong… the gator is clearly a just a fan of the National Champion Clemson Tigers, who won the college football playoff this year. It’s obvious!

Nobody knows why the gator is orange, but it’s probably not natural. An orange gator was spotted in Florida a few years ago… perhaps its a rare color morph. More likely it was colored by something in the environment, such as iron oxide in the water or some orange paint (perhaps a few rambunctious college students got carried away.)

VIDEO: Gator Jumps in an Airboat!

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Tylor Hindery via facebook

Some tourists took an airboat tour in the Everglades, and probably thought they were pretty luck to pull right up next to an Alligator. They were streaming video live on Facebook when the tides turned. They probably reconsidered how lucky they were when the gator climbed into their boat. Fortunately, the Gator was able to get out and nobody was hurt!

It was clearly a harrowing experience for Tylor Hindery and the people he was with on the boat. But to get that on Facebook Live… priceless. via fox4now:

 

I have gone on several airboat tours, and they are a lot of fun.. until somebody gets eaten!