So there's a bunch of cold blooded, skin shedding, forked tongue critters concentrating in the South? I thought we already knew about them, and called them "Republicans"?
Much of the United States - including "urban and suburban areas" - may soon be overrun by a plague of "giant, invasive snakes" capable of "attacking and killing people", according to genuine federal boffins. The scientists in question are those of the US Geological Survey, which yesterday published a terrifying report warning …
Given the intense and near-universal dislike of snakes by humans, and the proven ability of even pre-historic communities to eradicate large animals, particularly predatory ones, and the scientific and economic resources available in this case, the snakes don't stand a chance.
The US may not have a strategy in place yet, but you can count on them having several if these critters start to spread into middle class areas.
Just after pushing "Post" I came up with an IT angle:
As part of the Pentagon's dream of robot soldiers, DARPA will offer $1m to anyone who can build an autonomous killbot that hunts down and destroys large snakes. The winning bot will be capable of operating in confined spaces (sewers, etc) for prolonged periods (week-long stake-outs).
Once developed, local authorities up and down the country will place orders for several thousand and simply release them into the wild, keeping America safe for decent warm-blooded critters.
There's actually a lower risk of injury from constrictors than from, say, water moccasins (which are plentiful up and down the US East.) The trick is to stay out of their coils--they kill by crushing with their bodies, not biting with their mouths. I'd only be more concerned if they can fall out of tall trees and on top of me.
I'd be more worried about the small but growing population of monitor lizards in Dade County--and this was revealed after a spirited discussion about a post-apocolyptic Florida using the Fallout continuity.
(Yeah, this is getting silly...)
For bonus points (read, export sales), the system should have an option to hunt down cane toads instead. It shouldn't be hard to design the visual recognition system so that it can be re-targeted simply by feeding it a lot of high-quality images of the intended victim.
Seriously folks, this is how Skynet gets started. At first, it looks like a really good idea. Only later do we find ourselves welcoming our autonomous killbot overlords.
This was in the news a few years back. Nice of the feds to mention it. These snakes will go after alligators, too. But as for downing people, you would have to be sleeping out in the back yard for them to get you. The snakes move at a maximum speed of 1-2MPH, so they'll get babies, toddlers, and geezers.
The IT angle is to get the pointy-haired boss drunk at the Florida party...
I live here in Florida and I can say they pretty much always keep to themselves, are non-poisonous, and eat rats, possums, frogs, yappy dogs and cats, which is a good thing.
You don't mess with them, and they don't mess with you, so anybody that gets eaten was an idiot that deserved it. A 15ft python isn't exactly hard to spot.
is to cure them. Cure them and then eat them.
My prediction is that "Jimbo Bob's Flori-bama Snake Cookbook and Trapping Guide" will single-handedly erase this menace to society.
Mine's the one with the Tabasco sauce in the pocket...although I am not entirely sure I am kidding on this one.
Grab yore knives and sporks, genties and ladlemen.
The Maoris could clear NZ of much of the wildlife with lo-tech cutlery so in view of the Merkin technological prowess my guess is that the snakes are toast. With a touch of jalapeno.
...this is what we get for having a soldier in charge of biology news.
"So exactly how did they get to Hawaii?"
Incompetent would-be "exotic pet" owners discarding them, that's how. Bet you five dollars that's how they got to Miami, too -- I mean, every other place on this planet you encounter a fucked-up biome, you can safely assume that humans are responsible. So why not this place too?
Most snakes tend to only attack things that are either the right size to eat, or directly threatening them. A huge waste of valuable energy and/or venom otherwise - venom is very biologically expensive to make! There are exceptions - over here we have Tiger Snakes, which will go you simply for being in what they feel is their territory. My grandfather used to encourage black snakes on his farm as they chased off the tiger snakes and were less likely to bite you (you generally had to actually step on one to get bitten) and even if you did get bitten you had a far better chance of getting to hospital in time for the anti-venom with a black snake as their venom was slower-acting.
Not many giant snakes over here though - Aust. tends to specialise in very small things that can kill you.
... I was in a meeting and got to say none of the obvious responses.
However, I will tell our welcomed UK overlords that most of the gun-owning and hunting in the US is done by southerners, who do NOT like being called "Yanks" or "Yankees"; those are the people they fought in The War of the Northern Aggression [sic].
On a positive note, we now have found some way that Al Gore can be useful: rolling on and crushing 100 of these things at once.
Mine's the one with Steve Earl's "Copperhead Road" in the pocket.
He lives in Texas ('m in California, pretty much the same just swap repub for lib etc) and judging by the average arsenal that is stowed there the snakes may well just turn into target practice. Also having shot most of the afore mentioned arsenal some of which is modified as to be able to clear an average sized club of its fleshy bits in mere seconds that said snakes would not have much of a chance to attack unless it were by surprise and they were knife proof.
Hand grenade since I will paint it like a dog and feed it to the snakes
"no control tools yet that seem adequate for eradicating an established population of giant snakes once they have spread over a large area"
480 Million Firearms are a control method!!!!!!
Just tell the septics that said snakes are Commies, Aliens, Terrorists, Minions of Satan come bring about the end of days, liberals or French and i am sure that the snake population will become threatened with extinction in only a matter of weeks.
Of course they will probably napalm vast swathes of country side as well and i am sure that there will be more than one accident whereby a small township will be wiped out because the occupants have a congenital lisp but things happen in war, especially when fighting the forces of evil!!!!!!!!!!
Death to all Evil, Commie, Alien, Terrorist, French, Liberal Snakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's just nature finding a balance then. We need some giant snakes to eat our giant rodents. @Robert Hill.... To true. We'll eat pretty much anything except insects. How would you like your python, southern fried, barbecue, or cajun style? I've hunted and eaten rattlesnakes several times. I'm up in the NW so we don't get pythons or anacondas unless they're indoor pets. They don't taste like chicken but they are good eating. Mind the end with the teeth. Even 'constrictor' type snakes have some pretty nasty teeth. No worries though, if we get too many we'll just eat them.
"in the wild these snakes are extremely difficult to find since their camouflaged colouration enables them to blend in well with their surroundings"
Ha, this must be a fake announcement! No American boffin would write "colouration"!
@ how to Hawaii?
Well, the same way they got from Asia and S. America to the lower States...
(This part is serious. Sorta.)
2 Snakes, three to four feet long, 3 cups of Milk, 1/2 tsp Garlic juice - fresh garlic of course, 1 tsp Crystal Hot Sauce, A couple of small grated onions, A good pinch of ground cayenne pepper, A good pinch of fresh ground black pepper, Salt to taste, 1/2 cup of Flour, Oregano and Cilantro to taste, and a cup of shortening
Method : Skin, clean and rinse snake well. Cover with whole milk and garlic juice in a plastic mixing bowl, refrigerate overnight. Pat dry, season with onions, hot sauce, cayenne and black pepper, and add salt to taste. Add cilantro and oregano to the flour. Heat shortening in an iron skillet. Lightly flour the snake and fry until golden-brown. Mashed potatoes, brown gravy, corn on the cob, and coleslaw are an excellent compliment for this as always.
There is an interesting and undeniable Parallel/Synergy/Singularity in such a report whenever one consider the Computer Wwworm and Embedding Sublime Programs.
Which is a Task for CyberIntelAIgent Security Offices to Counter with their Special Intelligence Services in Command of Advanced Innovative Virtual Defence Servers.
A String to GCHQ's Bow ...... Arrows to their Quiver for Achilles Heel Use.
And an ASP is a snake, is it not?
"As part of the Pentagon's dream of robot soldiers, DARPA will offer $1m to anyone who can build an autonomous killbot that hunts down and destroys large snakes." .... By Ken Hagan Posted Wednesday 14th October 2009 15:44 GMT
Ken, Something similar for the above would be IARPA territory ....and $SevenSevens would buy into ITs HyperRadioProActive Killbots most Assuredly. And that would be a Real Bargain of the Century/Steal given the Untold Damage and Incalculable Losses which can be Incurred with Inadequate Intelligence in such Virtual Fields of InterReAction. And if anyone asks ... $EightEights buys a Necessarily SurReal NEUKlearer Model for Immediate Deployment complete with Field Driver Instruction.
And a dollar off a Billion would surely purchase an Armada Fleet .... for Lovelace Action and Unparalleled Performance.
1. I'm glad to have been reassured by El Reg that the snakes can bear the projected hot temperatures. It would be a shame if they had to slither back south again.
2. About 30 years ago a restaurant in Washington, DC, was rebuked and perhaps fined for serving rattlesnake--their menu had an endangered version of the snake (Pennsylvanian v. Californian perhaps). So the recipes are out there. Google will quickly lead you to a few
3. There is an annual rattlesnake-hunting contest every year in Sweetwater, TX. See http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/hunting/news/story?page=h_fea_rattlesnake_roundup_part_I1
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