An epic battle between an invasive Burmese Python and a South Florida alligator was captured on video by a Palm Beach Post reporter who happened to be cycling in the Big Cypress National Preserve last month.
The video has received worldwide attention and was picked up this week by The Weather Channel.
Post reporter Joe Capozzi, who took the video, wrote an excellent follow-up article about how serious the problem of invasive species is in Florida.
From his Jan. 6 article:
“It’s like a modern version of Godzilla versus King Kong,” Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill said after watching the video on The Post’s website.
But while the video offers a fascinating glimpse of two “apex predators in mortal combat,” Magill and other wildlife experts are hoping it helps raise the alarm about how pythons and other invasive species are threatening to destroy South Florida’s fragile ecosystem.
“How often does that occur in nature in order for somebody to see it? It’s not like it happened once and you happened to be there. This has to be happening all the time and somebody was lucky enough to see it,” said University of Florida wildlife biologist Frank Mazzotti, a python expert.
“It just underscores, to me, the extent of the interactions that must be going on. People should be concerned about this because we are spending billions of dollars to restore the Everglades and we could lose all that by having it taken over by an invasive species.”