PBS Comes to TCA and Brings a Big Snake

Today's cuppa: English breakfast tea at the hotel

Today was the PBS Day at the biannual Television Critics Association Press Tour, and one of the shows presented was a new episode of "Nature,"called "Invasion of the Giant Python," airing Sunday, Feb. 21.

Here's the description:

Florida's Everglades National Park is one of the last great wildlife refuges in the United States, home to numerous unique and endangered mammals, trees, plants, birds and turtles, as well as half a million alligators. However, the Everglades is also the dumping ground for many animal invaders -- more than 15 species of parrot, 75 kinds of fish and 30 different reptiles -- from places as far away as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. All of the intruders found their way into the park either by accidental escape from pet owners or intentional release by people no longer wishing to care for an exotic species. Add to the mix tens of thousands of giant pythons, snakes that can grow to 20 feet and weigh nearly 300 pounds, some released into the wild by irresponsible pet owners, some escapees from almost 200 wildlife facilities destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The predatory pythons slithered into this protected wilderness and thrived, and the refuge has consequently become less a haven than a killing ground every day since then.

Included in the presentation today at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena was a giant albino python named Pugsley. We were invited onstage afterward to see the snake, and I snapped a couple of closeup pix with the smartphone. You've been warned.

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