This morning I was surprised to learn that one of the recent top searches on Yahoo is for a news story about a 13 foot Burmese python that swallowed a six foot alligator. The incident occurred in Florida’s Everglades National Park. Neither the python nor the alligator survived but apparently it provided some entertainment for the internet crowed, including myself. It makes me wonder, though, what the repercussion of the introduction of pythons to alligators in the Everglades will have on both species, and the surrounding wildlife. This story could provide a hint.
I’m no animal expert but I don’t think Burmese pythons are natives of the Everglades. According to what I read, scientists attribute the rising population of pythons to owners who dropped off their pets after they grew too big or became unwanted. I guess the question that raises in my mind is, as humans are we damaging the food chain that God created and thusly causing more potential problems for our future?
With two top-of-the-food-chain predators there will be less small animals, which means less animals that eat insects and other small creatures. These pet owners who drop off unwanted pythons could be inadvertently causing a rise in mosquitoes, and we all like mosquitoes, right? But seriously, is it our responsibity to make sure the food chain is balanced?
In Genesis 1:26 God said,
Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
Apparently we are charged with ruling over the animal kingdom, but does that give us permission to rule unwisely as seems to be the case in the Everglades? I think it’s a responsibility, one that we haven’t been taking to seriously.