Swamp Apes, PTSD and Pythons in the Everglades

Eugene, Oregon
December 22, 2017 11:50am CST
I have been fascinated (and little horrified) at the thought of Burmese Pythons, turned loose in the Everglades by irresponsible "pet" owners. They are decimating the Everglades native species can grow to nearly 20 feet in length and over 100 pounds. That is one big ugly snake! Lots of people hunt these monsters, but I heard a story this week of a group of US military veterans who call themselves the Swamp Apes, who combat their PTSD problems with camaraderie and the thrill of the hunt in capturing these big snakes. One vet I read about says, it helps keep away the nightmares. Most of the captured snakes are euthanized by authorities. The "Apes" have been around for a few years now trying to reduce the python population, which is estimated at over 100,000 and doing themselves some good too. Link to the Swamp Apes website:
EndureEvolveAchieve Dedicated to serving Veterans through serving the Wilderness The Swamp Apes Established April 29, 2009 Founding Chapter of the Volunteer Wilderness Alliance View on Mobile
18 people like this
16 responses
@MALUSE (40300)
• Germany
22 Dec
That is an interesting post! These men will have enough to do for many more years when there are already about 100.000 snakes around now.
3 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
22 Dec
Yes and those snakes are prolific breeders.
@MALUSE (40300)
• Germany
22 Dec
@JamesHxstatic Are they poisonous or do they kill their victims by crushing them?
2 people like this
@Kandae11 (37123)
22 Dec
@MALUSE The boa constrictor or the python does that. That's how the boa constrictor got its name - it coils around its prey and squeezes , suffocating the victim by constricting its breathing.
1 person likes this
@sallypup (27133)
• Moses Lake, Washington
22 Dec
I'm not usually into hunting but this sounds good and healthy.
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
22 Dec
It is for sure. Those snakes are invasive and breed like rabbits.
1 person likes this
@sallypup (27133)
• Moses Lake, Washington
22 Dec
@JamesHxstatic Now that's a gruesome picture.
@DianneN (78465)
• United States
25 Dec
I know all about these wonderful Apes and those awful pythons. I hope the Apes get them all. I'm afraid to visit the Everglades because of those snakes.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
25 Dec
I can imagine that walking under trees there could be a dangerous thing.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (78465)
• United States
25 Dec
@JamesHxstatic I get the shivers just thinking about it! Merry Christmas to you!!!
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
25 Dec
@DianneN Happy Hannukkuh to you, Dianne!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (157723)
• Switzerland
23 Dec
I would be scared to live in that part of Florida. People are irresponsible, they buy any kind of wild animals as pets and when they grow, they get rid of them without thinking to the consequences.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
23 Dec
Yes, what was once small can grow to unmanageable sizes.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (157723)
• Switzerland
23 Dec
@JamesHxstatic Look how cute baby alligators are and how big and dangerous they become.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
23 Dec
@LadyDuck That is a good example, Anna.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (43033)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Dec
Wow, as a Floridian who hears and reads about the pythons all the time, I must admit I hadn't heard about the Swamp Apes! That is awesome what they are doing! Those snakes are so darn elusive, despite their giant size, so it must be a great thrill for these guys to hunt and capture them!
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
23 Dec
I am sure it is. I heard an interview on NPR with reporter along when they were out about 12 hours and got a 15 footer.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (43033)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Dec
@JamesHxstatic Wow, a 15-footer is quite a catch, considering the record in the Everglades is only a little over 19 feet!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123435)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Dec
That's a great service they are performing. And it's good if they find it therapeutic.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
23 Dec
It really is good on both sides.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123435)
• Bunbury, Australia
23 Dec
@JamesHxstatic There are four Vietnam vets in Vince's casual golf group and they are TPIs (totally and permanently incapacitated). They all have PTSD. I think the golf (which involves a lot of banter followed by coffee and chips) is quite therapeutic for them too. While we were away, one 'regressed' and spent about 10 weeks in hospital. Thankfully he seems much better now.
@PatZAnthony (12657)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
27 Dec
This has been an issue for a long time, but hopefully the Swamp Apes will get these under control soon.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
27 Dec
I'm afraid it will take an army of vets to do that.
@Tampa_girl7 (25721)
• United States
23 Dec
I appreciate what they are doing to reduce the population. Any snake frightens me
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
25 Dec
Many snakes are quite beneficial, but these pythons are bad news.
• China
23 Dec
It is nice of the military veterans to capture these big snakes off their own bat.The pythons damage the native ecological balance.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
23 Dec
They certainly do wreak havoc with native species.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41181)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
23 Dec
I couldn't do it. Snakes make me wig out.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
23 Dec
Might be fun to hunt them, but someone else could do the wrestling.
1 person likes this
@Kandae11 (37123)
22 Dec
I have seen enough large snakes in the very rural areas of Guyana. Thankfully, those are not seen in the Caribbean.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
23 Dec
I would not like to be anywhere near these snakes.
@RasmaSandra (17604)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
22 Dec
That is fascinating and scary too. One of these days these snakes might start invading homes.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
23 Dec
I am not sure how close any homes are to the 'glades.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (57224)
• Los Angeles, California
22 Dec
I have read about these pythons in the Everglades. These "introduced" species are doing damage across the country.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
22 Dec
Yes, it is a really bad thing.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (106593)
• United States
22 Dec
It is so good to hear that the "Apes" benefit from capturing the big snakes in order to save the everglades. Nice to hear that the snakes are humanely euthanized too.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
22 Dec
Yes, it seems to be a win/win deal for all.
1 person likes this
@topffer (34162)
• France
22 Dec
I had never heard about these pythons before. It is a very interesting post, thank you.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
22 Dec
Thanks for reading too!
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (28614)
• Canada
22 Dec
Wow, these snakes multiply fast! That's a useful and constructive way of working out their stress!
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
22 Dec
It is a constructive way for vets to use the skills they learned in the military and so some good too.
1 person likes this