Invasion of the Giant Pythons

About

As part of an ever popular international pet trade market, and incidentally along paths of human travel, many exotic animals have been removed from their native lands and landed where they are not necessarily welcome arrivals. Among these invasive species are a growing number of Burmese pythons, which have taken up residence in the wetlands of Florida, courtesy of overwhelmed pet owners and hurricane-hit animal warehouses.

Accidentally or intentionally released pythons and other exotic animals, such as parrots, reptiles, and lizards are inhabiting dry as well as wet habitats, and feeding on or competing with native species. Giant pythons are well-adapted for success in Florida, where the habitat is similar to their Asian home. Although they are non-venomous, pythons are among the largest snakes in the world, reaching up to twenty-six feet long. Their size and power makes them one of the top predators in Florida’s Everglades National Park, taking on even the alligators, and posing a threat to many of the indigenous and endangered species.

NATURE follows teams of scientists and hunters as they use their vast knowledge of snakes and their prey to uncover the impact of the pythons on the park’s fragile ecosystems. Herpetologist Shawn Heflick uses some innovative techniques to observe the mechanics of the snake’s bite, while scientists Stephen Secor and Skip Snow employ advanced technology to analyze the ways in which pythons swallow and digest animals that can be more than half their own body size. Watch as a wild python ingests an alligator whole.

Journey with NATURE as it investigates what comes next in the story of the Invasion of the Giant Pythons.

Production Credits Print

Narrated By
F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

Produced By
NIGEL MARVEN

Director
MATTHEW WRIGHT

Editor
ROB DAVIES

Composer
WILL SLATER

Photography
SIMON WAGEN
PAUL ZENK

Production Manager
LOUISE DAWE-LANE

Researcher
ALEX MINTON

Underwater Photography
SHAWN HEFLICK

Online Editor
ADRIAN RIGBY

Dubbing Editor
JONATHAN JENKINS

Scientific Advisors
SKIP SNOW
PYTHON SCIENCE SUPPORT TEAM

With Thanks To
TOM CRUTCHFIELD
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
RARE SPECIES CONSERVATORY FOUNDATION
EVERGLADES OUTPOST
MIAMI METRO ZOO
AUDUBON’S CORKSCREW SWAMP SANCTUARY
GREEN CAY WETLANDS
ALFREDO VELOSO
RUSS GURLEY
BOB COWLISHAW
ANTHONIA SMITH

For NATURE

Series Editor
JANET HESS

Supervising Producer
JANICE YOUNG

Senior Producer
LAURA METZGER

Producers
JILL CLARKE
IRENE HESS

Production Manager
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

Production Assistant
JAYNE JUN

Manager
EILEEN FRAHER

Re-Recording Mixer
ED CAMPBELL

HD Online Editor
PATRICK KRASS

Series Producer
BILL MURPHY

Executive In Charge
WILLIAM GRANT

Executive Producer
FRED KAUFMAN

A Production of Image Impact Ltd and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG

This program was produced by THIRTEEN, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2009 Image Impact Ltd and WNET.ORG Properties LLC
All rights reserved

Web Credits

Producer
TANNER VEA

Production Assistance
CHIE WITT

Designer
JOY WEEENG

Pagebuilding
BRIAN SANTALONE

Technical Director
BRIAN LEE

Creative Director
NICK MILLER

Director of Digital Strategy
DAVID HIRMES

Senior Director
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

Writer
HALEY ZAMER