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Giant pythons keep attacking people in Indonesia - and humans might be to blame
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Leroy N. Soetoro
2017-10-10 02:59:23 UTC
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/10/04/giant-
pythons-keep-attacking-indonesian-people-and-people-might-be-to-
blame/?tid=pm_world_pop&utm_term=.0352d15fe279

In all the man-versus-python stories, the snake is almost always the
coldblooded antagonist.

Reticulated pythons like the ones involved in two attacks in Indonesia
this year are among the world’s longest and strongest. They kill by
coiling around their prey and squeezing until its heart stops. Then the
serpents swallow their victims whole.

It’s certainly the stuff of villains. Even when the end result isn’t
death, the attacks often make international headlines.

But scientists and snake lovers say the strikes may be more than just
alarming stories about reptilian foes. They may be the indirect result of
our global food chain’s insatiable desire for an inexpensive product.

The latest snake attack victim was Robert Nababan, according to Metro. On
Sept. 30, he was riding his moped home from his security job at an oil
palm tree farm in Indonesia when he came across a gigantic python lying
across the road — and tried to move it.

Accounts diverge from there. Some say he was simply trying to clear the
road; others say he was trying to capture the snake.

What happened next is not in dispute: The python latched onto his arm and
began to coil, the reports say. At some point, it also bit his head. He
was able to dislodge the animal, possibly with a machete, but not before
he was seriously injured.

He was rushed to a hospital where doctors treated him. His snake attack
story rocketed around the globe.

He survived, unlike a python attack victim earlier this year, as The
Post’s Amy B Wang reported.

Villagers on the island of Sulawesi went searching for a man who never
returned from a palm oil fruit harvest in March. Instead, they found
scattered pieces of fruit, a picking tool, a boot and a 23-foot-long
python, swollen from a recent meal.

When they sliced the snake open, they found the missing man, dead and
covered in reptilian digestive juices.

The attacks are more than just the result of unsuspecting people who
stumbled upon slithering snakes. And the causes may indirectly stretch all
the way across the globe, to a grocery store near you stocked with shampoo
or ice cream or chocolate, or some other product made with palm oil.

By some estimates, half of all things found in grocery stores are made
with the fruit of the palm oil plant, a versatile and cheap ingredient
that happens to grow best in areas of the world where reticulated pythons
thrive.

Because producing palm oil is so lucrative, plantations have razed giant
swaths of rain forest to make room for the cash crop.

It’s sparking an environmental crisis in Indonesia, an aggregation of
thousands of islands that contains the third-largest chunk of the world’s
rain forests, behind Brazil and Congo.

Most of the world’s palm oil is harvested from two countries, Malaysia and
Indonesia, with devastating effects.

By 2012, the amount of deforestation in Indonesia was estimated to be
higher than the amount of deforestation in Brazil, according to a research
paper in Nature Climate Change.

“Much of this palm oil is produced in ways that involve the destruction of
tropical forests and peatlands, adding to global warming emissions and
reducing habitat for many already threatened species, according to the
Union of Concerned Scientists.

The effects on the climate are well documented, but there’s another,
unintended consequence, says Doug Boucher, a scientific adviser for the
Union of Concerned Scientists. The plantations increase the chances that
Indonesians will come in contact with a snake.

“They’re not coming after us,” he told The Washington Post. “In various
ways, either directly or by our actions with changing land use, we’re
coming after them.”

It’s more complex than deforestation eating away at the snakes’ habitat,
Boucher said. The palm oil plants are a magnet for rodents and other small
animals that feed on the fatty, energy-dense fruit.

And the snakes hunt the rats.

“You have these sudden encounters,” Boucher told The Post. “It’s not that
the snakes are attacking. They’re just not expecting people.”

The results are often bad for the people, but can have a devastating
effect on snakes.

The one that attacked Nababan last month didn’t get away.

According to police, as the man was whisked off to the hospital, villagers
took the newly dead snake home and strung it up between two trees.

Pictures spread of a child straddling the snake corpse, riding it like a
horse.

Afterward, the report said, the villagers cut the snake into small pieces,
fried it and made a meal of it.
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Liberals are VERMIN!
2017-10-10 06:57:23 UTC
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Asiatics and Africans are wiping out their animal species at a huge rate. All that matters is money. To Asians because that's all that ever matters to them, to Africans because it's better to poach than be dirt-poor. Things have gotten worse now the internet is pervasive, do-gooders brought the internet to Africa, exposing many to the riches the West has, and now they are obviously dissatisfied with their own lots. Dirty Orientals offering thousands of dollars for ivory, snake skins, etc.
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