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!
Nile Monitor Photo by Ms. Onufer
A Cape Coral woman had been missing her cat for a few weeks, and when she walked out in her back yard the other day, she may have found the culprit. Katie Onufer was able to snap a few pictures of a Nile Monitor Lizard, which hissed at her before sneaking out through a hole in her fence. That’s on top of recent reports of coyotes taking dogs in Punta Gorda: my neighbor actually had one in his lanai! Cape Coral (and some other areas) are filthy with iguanas. The Burmese Python situation is so bad, they are sponsoring another hunt. Now, other types of pythons, including aggressive Rock Pythons, may be establishing breeding populations. It’s not just on land… toothy Snakeheads have established colonies in our canals. And toothy little carnivorous dragons known as Tegu are spreading in South Florida.
As if Florida didn’t already have enough scary wildlife of it’s own, we literally have all the nastiest critters from around the globe congregating here to eat us. Let this serve as a warning to snowbirds: stay out… Florida is a dangerous place! Even the armadillos have leprosy!
Nile Monitor Sightings in SW Florida
If you see a Nile Monitor lizard, report it to FWC. If you see any of these critters, report them. Run first! Then report them.