Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's A Jungle Out There

Representative Tom Tancredo recently made the amazed public declaration that the state of Florida is becoming a Third World nation, and so it is. (Congressmen Tancredo needs to be congratulated on his keen and insighfful grasp of the obvious.)

But Florida has also become something of a wildlife refuge for certain other kinds of illegal immigrants from the Third World--such as the Burmese pythons which have escaped into the wild, started breeding, and which are now challenging the native alligators for swampland habitat and engaging in titanic combats with the American reptiles for mastery of the environment, resembling monster battles from 1950s science fiction movies where Godzilla meets Mothra or whatever.

For some odd reason, a combination of illegal aliens and just plain kooks seem to be intent on importing all kinds of weird non-native animal species into Florida and turning them loose. Those species which have been successfully transplanted so far include the deadly pythons and also South American spider monkeys and now--giant rats.

A recent media article opens: "As the rising sun danced across Florida's coastal waters, government workers in shorts and T-shirts knelt in a grassy island field and plucked wriggling rats from traps laid the night before. These weren't just any rats. They were 3-pound, 35-inch-long African behemoths. They squirmed as the workers, wearing protective gloves, removed green radio collars that had been tracking the rodents' movements. All 18 of the animals were carted away for research."

Huh? Three pounds and almost a yard long? That's one big-ass rat.

The Breitbart article goes on: "Darin Carroll kept a watchful eye on that dawn mission at Florida's Grassy Key Island. Carroll is no ordinary G-man. He's a disease hunter determined to stop the next outbreak. Carroll works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and for three years he has painstakingly tracked the journey of Gambian rats from their African homeland, through the exotic pet trade, and to U.S. homes. His quest is to prove what many scientists suspect: that African rodents imported as pets caused a monkeypox outbreak in the Midwest in 2003 that sickened dozens of adults and children with a virus related to smallpox. Scientists suspect Gambian rats may play a role. Similar outbreaks have occurred in Africa."

I'm sorry, my mind still hasn't quite wrapped around this. We have yard-long African rats running around spreading diseases in Florida? Somebody brought infected three-pound monster rats into this country as pets and let them go? Is this something off the Science Fiction Channel? Apparently not.

Breitbart continues: "Florida and U.S. officials are trying to raise enough money to kill off the Gambian rats that have proliferated on Grassy Key Island, just a few miles from the coast of one of the country's most populous states." (Somebody should tell the neocons in Washington that the beasties are Iraqi rats and part of a terrorist plot, and then Dick Cheney will have his drunken little sock puppet in the Oval Office shell the island with Cruise missiles to exterminate them.)

Evidently they're not just in Florida either. The article says that "The first time Carroll, 34, came face-to-face with a live Gambian rat was in 2003 when the CDC dispatched him to suburban Chicago during the monkeypox outbreak." (Sure that wasn't just a common Chicago sewer rat?)

Well, why not, after all? If we don't control the diseased human life that comes across our totally open borders, why control the diseased animal life? At least America is consistent in its death wish. And here's a thought: those huge African rats down in Florida can serve as food for the pythons.


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