Video shows the first evidence of native wildlife preying on python eggs.
At this point, most people know that Florida has a serious Burmese python problem. The invasive snakes are causing more and more issues for native wildlife in recent years as their numbers explode throughout the state. However, there may be some good news, because researchers have just captured the first evidence of native wildlife raiding a Burmese python nest.
In an incredible series of videos taken by a trail camera last June through September, a male bobcat returns to raid a python nest over and over looking for a meal. The cat's repeated visits eventually attract the attention of the mother snake and leads to a short showdown that was captured by the camera.
Fox News reports it was researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey who captured the incredible images in Big Cypress National Preserve, which is near the famous Everglades. The footage was uploaded to the YouTube channel of Dr. Andrea Currylow. The researcher breaks down the video in the description, noting how the bobcat discovers the nest and then slowly investigates the eggs before discovering they are edible.
"This is the first documentation of any animal in Florida preying on python eggs, and the first evidence or description of such antagonistic interactions at a python nest," the video's description reads.
The description also breaks down how the big cat returned multiple times, at one point covering the eggs with dirt to cache them. It then later returned to feed. Eventually, the female snake appears on the nest and the bobcat visibly paws at the large snake. Fox News reports the snake measured 13.9 in length. The researchers believe the snake could have killed the snake had it been in a feeding mood.
According to Fox News, the researchers discovered the bobcat had either trampled or eaten 42 of the python's eggs. They recovered 22 of the eggs that were only slightly damaged. However, these eggs did not survive after they transported them to an incubator.
The odds of catching such an interaction on camera are exceedingly rare according to the researchers. Mainly because pythons usually do not leave their eggs unguarded until they hatch. In any case, let's hope this means more of Florida's native wildlife will also start preying upon python eggs. Because this is a problem where the state's native animals can use all the help they can get.
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