Black panthers are particularly rare in Africa, only a couple have been photographed in the last 100 years. Another black leopard was photographed in Kenya in the same region in 2013. CNN incorrectly claims this was the first one photographed in Africa since since 1909, but then concedes reports of the photos from five years ago: I guess they are saying this is the first scientifically confirmed footage… Either way, it’s exciting as the panthers, black color variations of leopards, also known as melanistic leopards, are far less common in Africa than their South and East Asian cousins.
A photographer in Kenya got the surprise of a lifetime when he crossed paths with one of the rarest of African big cats: the black leopard. "I couldn't believe it," @willbl wrote after capturing stunning photos of the lucky moment. https://t.co/c0rVIvbH7hpic.twitter.com/TqsPAL6xOk
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!
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!
We 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!
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…
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.
They 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.”
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.)