- Posted January 31, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Importing of Exotic Species Dealt With Too Lightly
Most people have heard how legal imports of various types of python snakes has created a problem in the State of Florida where the snakes are now competing with native species, and have literally taken over the Everglades to the point a bounty is being paid for pythons caught The pythons entered the US eco system by pet owners turning their snakes loose into the environment for one reason or another. The snakes then multiplied quickly having no natural enemies in the environment they were introduced into. The people who released these snakes were obviously never held accountable for the damage done by their actions in Florida.
Recently, an even more alarming story has come out of New York City about a tropical fish importer named Joel Rakower. Rakower over a one year period illegally imported 40,000 Piranhas from Hong Kong. When Rakower was caught, and he pleaded guilty, he was ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution and fines. Now if the piranhas enter waters in the US were they can thrive as the pythons did $70K is little more than a slap on the wrist for damage that could result... it may not be safe to enter the water in that old swimming hole down South, and those Florida gators may have more competition besides pythons in the food chain thanks to Mr. Rakower looking to make a quick buck importing illegal piranhas as silver tetras.