You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Off on a tangent

Gopher Tortoise. Ain't he cute?

Checking on my guavas today, I noticed I've got bananas! Yay! Not many, but coming from a tree I take absolutely no care of, I'd say it's pretty good to be getting any.

My sister, who lives in Broward Co., took this picture today. She didn't know that the cute little things hanging out on her rose bushes were baby iguanas. They are cute, but not native and very invasive.

South Florida has an over abundance of non-native critters, the iguana being one. They have been in the news alot lately. The only way to really control them is to kill them. Now, I'm an animal lover, but there are some who may doubt that when I say I agree about killing the iggys. There are too many of them and there is just nothing else to do. Sure nature helps a bit by sending us cold snaps once or twice a year (they don't survive too well in extreme cold temps). But something else needs to be done. It would be nice if a vet volunteered to euthanize all iguanas brought to him, but that's not ever going to happen. It's a sad thing that has happened just because people bought those cute little babies (like my sis has in her yard), but then when they got too big decided they couldn't keep them anymore and turned them loose. Bad move.
Iguanas, parrots and parakeets, various lizards and geckos, boas and pythons... I think the pet industry really needs to be better regulated. The state has taken steps, at least as far as large snakes go, but I don't know if anything's being done about the other problems we have.
And I've learned our bear population has grown tremendously in recent years. Could they be thinging of possibly having a bear season? Most likely. The sad thing is, it's not the bear's fault. It's ours. South Florida's continued building and growth really sucks for our native creatures. More and more bear encounters are happening because we have moved into their territory.
I have hunters in my family. Most animal lovers think bad things about hunters. I do not. Hunters are actually some of the most environmentally conscious people around. They are also some of the biggest animal lovers. I do not like people who hunt for the "thrill" of it. Hunt for food. Eat what you kill. Honor the life you've taken. If we didn't have hunting seasons, our deer population would be horribly over populated and sickly. Hogs are not even native here, but we don't go out and allow random killing of them. We have hog seasons. We have turkey season. Rabbit, too (oh, I could never eat a rabbit!). And alligator season! At one time, gators were protected here. As a result, their population exploded and now no body of water in Florida is exempt from them...including swimming pools. So we now have a heavily regulated gator season, which is based on a lottery for a permit. It hasn't hurt their population at all. I love alligators. And...they taste pretty good, too. Would I hunt one? Nope. I have no desire to ever hunt anything. But I am not against it. There are very valid and good reasons for hunting and I support them 100%.
Now, if I was in the Everglades and came across a python, I would kill it without a second thought. (and I have a particular fondess for snakes and have owned 2 pythons)
Wow...what was the point of this post? I think I got off tangent a bit! Anyhoo...if you have an exotic pet, wherever you live, never EVER release it into the wild!
I gotta go make dinner now. 'Night All!


SophieMae said...

You just love torturing us non-guava growers, doncha? )*;*(

I totally agree about the released and escaped exotics. It's sad, but it needs to be done. You have native hogs? I thought they all came from Spain in the 16th century. I read a while back that hunters shoot about 100,000 hogs a year in FL and removers take well over 3,000 off state properties, yet the hogs are still gaining ground.

Oh, and speaking of seasons... it's awards season... come get your latest here 8-]

SwampAngel65 said...

No, no, no...I meant to say "Not even native here"!!! My brain jumped ahead of my fingers. I know they've been here a long time but are not from here!

Guavas, guavas, guavas......yummmmm.....don't fret. You'll have a jar of home made guava jam just as soon as my sister makes some. Which, hopefully will be SOON!

Another award?!? This is GREAT! I feel like I should give an acceptance speech or something ;) I'll check it out right away!

BeeDancer said...

I loved this post and totally agree with you about hunting for food. My only problem is with trophy hunters...and that goes for fisherman too. I cannot abide the idea that you kill something just to hang it on your wall. In fact, a few years ago down in Costa Rica, I watched as "sportsmen" had their sailfish brought in (dead of course)just so they could have a picture taken with them at the scales...then the fish would be dragged away for trash...It turned my stomach...

Thanks for making the point

lisaschaos said...

I love your tortoise and iguana! Bananas are yummy, can't grow them here. :( I can't imagine having a gator season!

flmom said...

The gopher tortoise photo is great! There is an office building in a nearby town that has iguanas all around now because some were abandoned there. I'm not sure what is being done about the problem though or if anything is being done. So sad. All these poor creatures suffering as a result of bad decisions by humans.