A Florida trail cam goes into action by capturing incredible photos of a bobcat raiding a Burmese python’s nest. One of the photos also includes the bobcat launching toward the large snake. This appears to be the first-ever evidence of any animal in Florida preying upon Burmese python eggs.
In 2021, a group of scientists recorded the evidence of a bobcat raiding the nest of a Burmese python in the South Florida Everglades. In June of that year, researchers captured many trail cam photos at Big Cypress National Preserve. However stunning, the events pose a challenge to the ecological health of the wetlands. Lets see what Field and Stream has to say about this encounter.
Last summer, the researchers released a motion-triggered trail cam to a 14-foot female python’s nest. On that same day, the bobcat was seen at the nest while the snake was nowhere in sight. Over the next two days, viewers could see the large cat repeatedly making its way to the unguarded nest. According to the study’s authors, the bobcat was seen consuming, trampling, caching, and uncovering the eggs. However, did not expect to ever meet the mother of those eggs.
The bobcat attempted to raid the nest while the python remained there, but that only led to a bobcat-python face-off. After the brief brawl, the bobcat took off. When the mammal returned the next day, trail cam photos reveal the python charging at the bobcat. In the end, the cat failed to reclaim ownership of the nest.
Days later, researchers returned to the scene of the crime to reset the camera. After removing the snake from the rest, they took 22 eggs damaged but feasible eggs back to their lab. They incubated the eggs, but none of them hatched. Therefore, the bobcat killed the baby pythons.
“We’ve heard of bobcats and pythons meeting, but nothing like this,” Andrea Currylow, a research ecologist with USGS and lead researcher on the study, tells Miami New Times. “We haven’t seen this kind of resilience in the Everglades ecosystem against invasive apex predators.”
More on Trail Cam Video of Bobcat Raiding Python Nest
The recent collection of trail cam photos of the battle between the bobcat and the python sparked much attention. But pythons taking over the Florida Everglades might mean more than just a few battles. According to an article in the Miami New Times, Burmese pythons have spread across the area.
Pythons are native to Southeast Asia. However, the 90s exotic pet trade introduced the local ecosystem when pet owners released them into the Everglades. These creatures did not come across any natural predators. However, the snakes have wreaked havoc on the native wildlife ever since. They killed several raccoons, possums, marsh rabbits, and other mammals. But this might not be forever.
Florida instituted several programs to remove the dangerous creatures. These programs include the South Florida Water Management District’s Python Elimination Program and the Python Bowl, a snake-themed hunting challenge.