Florida’s wilderness and swamplands serve as the home for many animal species, soemthing you would see on our Orlando eco tour, but some are a little more wild than others. The Sunshine State has been the source of several news reports about bear attacks, python sightings, and shark attacks. Several coastal destinations around Florida have been named the ‘shark bite capital of the world’ and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has had to step in numerous times to set guidelines for Florida residents to steer clear of animal encounters.
The Case of the Burmese Python
Most recently, Florida wildlife officials have coordinated civilian ‘python patrols’ to train locals on how to capture the Burmese python. The Burmese python population is out of control with an estimated 150,000 pythons occupying the southern half of the state. These snakes were first spotted in the ‘70s and have become one of the top predators in the Everglades. The Burmese python is capable of eating whole alligators and other species.
Bear Attacks in Florida
Florida has made headlines news several times for black bear attacks across the state. According to the National Geographic Society, the number of black bear attacks is on the rise in Florida because the population is growing quickly and more people are encountering black bears in their neighborhood. People that get into the habit of feeding wildlife only exacerbate the problem because black bears are more likely to keep returning to the area where they have been fed. Experts say this is dangerous when the animal becomes desensitized to human contact and may end up hurting someone as a result.
Florida is currently dealing with a snake and bear problem but is also home to a number of wild and weird animals. The SunSentinel has rounded up some of the strangest animals and critters around the Sunshine State, putting the spotlight on the Frankenfish, Man-O-War, anole (a very fast lizard) and the iguana. Check out the complete list here.
For more information on Florida’s crazy wildlife, the animal pros at Wild Florida are more than happy to talk with you. During our Orlando eco tour, we provide a ton of information on Florida’s wildlife and want you to walk away feeling a little bit closer to the nature here.