“For some reason, the pythons that are coming out of here, they have mercury concentrations higher than mine waste, a mercury mine,” said Everglades superintendent Dan Kimball. Ron DeSantis’ declaration of war on the python last year and a charge to find novel ways to fight the apex predator. In the ocean, the largest, oldest fish that have been feeding on smaller prey generally have the highest concentrations of mercury. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends against eating anything with a concentration greater than 0.46 parts per million. The sulfur oxidizes to sulfate, which energizes microbes that turn mercury into methylmercury, which is what accumulates in the food chain. An adult alligator can gain a weigh of fifty pounds of prey each year, and it can also survive for one year without eating. Read online books for free new release and bestseller “These guys are just loaded with mercury.”, More: NEW: Staggering 18-foot, 9-inch python caught in Everglades breaks state record. They can stay submerged for 40 to 50 minutes before needing to surface for air. With the Florida Python Challenge on the horizon, officials are warning residents to be extra cautious when it comes to eating python meat. Alligator diets include fish, frogs, turtles, snakes, and mammals. Florida is considering a new strategy to cull its Burmese python population by making the invasive snake what's for dinner. "It depends on where the python is eating in the food chain," said Ian Bartoszek, co-author of the 2019 study and environmental science project manager for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Subscribe to our What You Missed newsletter for the top headlines from the outdoor world, in your inbox six days a week. As an alligator gets bigger, its prey get bigger, too. Polk County deputies were called to deal with a 10-foot, 700-pound alligator wrestling with itself near a middle school. And that makes pythons a problem, as they grow massive — some more than 18 feet and 100 pounds — and eat just about everything else in the Everglades, including the occasional alligator. But it wasn't until March 2012 that the U.S. To make the python meat more tender, she uses a pressure cooker to cook it for 10 to 20 minutes before putting it in a recipe, such as a stir-fry, chili and spaghetti sauce. “With a stir-fry you can add fresh ginger, garlic and vegetables of your choice and serve it over rice,” Kalil said. ORLANDO, Fla. – If you live in Central Florida, alligators can show up anytime, anywhere. Deer and cattle are among the largest animals snakes have been known to eat. Her python meat marketing suggestion: Chicken of the Glades. (Scroll down to see which Florida lakes have the most “bull” alligators.) In 2005 a Burmese python tried to swallow an alligator whole in Florida. Given the snake’s frightful dimensions, there’s little doubt that one could kill and eat an unsuspecting adult. An initiative between the state’s wildlife conservation commission and department of health is looking at mercury levels in pythons with the possibility of issuing advisories on safely eating the Everglades scourge. But there are also areas that are hot spots and things shouldn’t be eaten.”. Read the weird and wonderful news reports about zoo animals, pets, wildlife, farm animals… At least one pizza parlor in Naples is offering “Everglades Pizza” in relation to the upcoming Python Challenge. Subscribe to our newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest outdoor news. They store fat in their tail. Mostly, alligators prefer to eat food which can be consumed in one bite. “But any little effort will slow it down some.”. In perhaps the most Floridian attack ever, the deadly weapon of choice was an alligator. Kalil only eats python a few times a year, and uses a mercury testing kit to look for high levels of the chemical element in her meat. Adult alligators can go a long time between meals. Between 1996 and 2006, the Fish and Wildlife Service estimates 99,000 Burmese pythons were imported to the U.S. Today, there is no good estimate of how many pythons live wild in South Florida.