Things That Matter

Florida Moves To Ban Iguanas (Among Other Animals) As They Start Showing Up In People’s Toilets

There’s never a dull moment in Florida. The state is well known for its fondness for all things exotic and/or strange, it has a long history of accommodating religious cults and now the ex-President Trump calls the state home. But now the state is trying to clamp down on another unwanted resident – invasive reptiles that are overrunning the state and literally showing up in people’s toilets.

Florida moves to ban iguanas as they become an invasive species in the state.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has ruled that within the next few weeks the breeding and dealing of 16 of the most ecologically-damaging non-native species must be brought to a halt. The ban will apply to several types of python that have proliferated to crisis point in the Everglades, as well as all types of tegu lizards, anacondas, Nile monitor lizards and green iguanas.

Green iguanas have multiplied in Florida to such a degree since they were first spotted there in 1960 that they are regarded as an environmental hazard. They puncture seawalls, tear up sidewalks and carry salmonella.

An animal once prized as an exotic curiosity is now widely decried as a pest. The iguanas hang out on roofs, dig under houses and to the horror of home owners can crawl into sewers only to emerge, thrashing around, in the toilet bowl.

The state conservation commission now encourages Floridians to humanely kill the lizards, which can grow up to 5ft and 17lbs, on their own property. No hunting licenses are required.

Iguanas are just one of many exotic animals that have become a problem for the state.

In an effort to protect local ecology, economy, and human health, the state is making it illegal for Floridians to breed or sell such animals as Burmese and scrub pythons, Green anacondas, Nile monitors, green iguanas, and tegus, among several other invasive species. Finalized on February 25, the new rules are meant to improve the regulations on the ownership of invasive reptiles in Florida, and they’re expected to go into effect later this summer. 

“Stringent biosecurity measures are required for those entities in possession of Prohibited species to limit escapes,” declares the Florida wildlife commission in its guidelines. 

These reptiles are becoming a major menace in the state, ravaging sensitive ecosystems and wreaking havoc in urban environments. The Burmese python, for example, is now endemic in the Everglades, where it consumes a wide variety of prey. 

But not everyone is onboard with the idea of banning the sale of these animals.

When the commission debated the rules last month it was inundated with comments, many from exotic pet owners and breeders pleading for the ban not to go ahead. As the Washington Post reported, one woman burst into tears over the idea of losing her pet iguanas and pythons.

“If you take them away, I would be really messed up,” she wailed.

But the spread of invasive species through sensitive ecosystems such as the Everglades is happening at such speed that the state felt duty bound to act. The reptiles are also causing havoc in urban areas.

To soften the blow to pet owners, a concession has been tucked into the new regulations. Anyone who cannot contemplate the thought of being parted from their iguana or tegu can apply for a free permit. But the reprieve will last only for the life of the animal. Once the critter is gone, it cannot be replaced by a new pet from the list of banned species.

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There’s A Mysterious “Bat Cave” Full Of Blind Snakes Near Cancun And It’s Creepy AF

Things That Matter

There’s A Mysterious “Bat Cave” Full Of Blind Snakes Near Cancun And It’s Creepy AF

YE AUNG THU/AFP via Getty Images

Mexico is full of incredible natural beauty, so it’s no wonder that it’s frequently one of the world’s most visited destinations. People love to visit the picturesque beaches, the ancient ruins, lively cities, and relaxed pueblos. But we would imagine that few people would add this mysterious ‘bat cave’ to their list of destinations, considering it’s full of blind snakes that hang from the ceiling to catch their prey. 

Mexico’s mysterious ‘bat cave’ is part of a truly unique ecosystem. 

Cancun is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s home to some of the world’s greatest beaches and tons of adventure at cenotes and Mayan ruins. But, apparently, it’s also home to a unique ecosystem that includes a so-called bat cave home to thousands of blind snakes that hang upside down. Yikes!

The cave, located less than 180 miles from Cancun’s spectacular beaches, is home to a species of blind, deaf snakes that feed mainly on flying bats.”This is the only place in the world where this happens,” Arturo Enrique Bayona Miramontes, the biologist who discovered it, told Newsweek.

The cave system remained completely unknown to tourists and surprised many scientists, who marveled as the jungle was peeled away to reveal another species, another hidden natural world.

The “cave of the hanging snakes” has a 65-foot wide mouth from which thousands of bats of seven different species swarm out every night, seeking food in and around Lake Chichancanab, some 2 miles away. When the bats return from nighttime feeding, some become food for the snakes.

The cave is a bat paradise – unless they become food for the blind and deaf snakes.

The giant cave is home to hundreds of thousands – perhaps even millions – of bats who cling to the cave’s roof. Joining them in the cave are a unique species of blind and deaf snakes that strike unsuspecting bats as they fly by.

The technique of the yellow-red rat snake is frighteningly precise, Bayona Miramontes said. “These snakes do not see or hear, but they can feel the vibrations of the bats flying, and they use that opportunity to hunt them with their body, suffocating their victims before gobbling them down.”

If you’re feeling adventurous, the cave is open to a limited number of visitors.

The cave is located nearby a very small Mayan community in Kantemó, on the Yucatan peninsula. Although the village is so small that it only has one church, the community has been working hard to protect this unique ecosystem.

Only 10 visitors are allowed inside the cave at a time and no photography is permitted. Since the pandemic began, the cave has been closed but it will reopen when the health department of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo allows tourism again.

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Coinstar Comes Through For Man Who Received Last Paycheck Of 91,500 Pennies

Things That Matter

Coinstar Comes Through For Man Who Received Last Paycheck Of 91,500 Pennies

Mark Walker / Getty Images

After Andreas Flaten’s former employer dumped at least 90,000 pennies on his driveway last month as a form of final payment for his work at an auto shop, Coinstar is stepping up to help.

The company picked up Flaten’s coins on Thursday and rounded up the amount to give him a $1,000 check. Flaten had been spending an hour or two every night trying to clean the pennies, which he stored in a wheelbarrow in his garage.

They also made donations to two charities of Flaten’s choosing: two animal shelters. 

“Coinstar has been in the coin business for 30 years and we process approximately 41 billion coins annually – so picking up 91,000 pennies was all in a day’s work,” Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity said in a statement.

Original Story Published March 25, 2021:

Quitting a job isn’t always easy, quite often one of the parties is left upset or angry. But the breakup of a Georgia man and a car repair shop has taken things to new depressing low. He was Paid his fianl Paycheck With 91,500 Pennies

Sure, the man received his money and it’s all totally legal but it still sucks the way that he was ‘paid’ and the Internet is rightfully freaking out on the man’s behalf.

Georgia man is paid his final paycheck with 91,500 pennies.

A Georgia man, Andreas Flaten, who had been waiting on his final $915 paycheck from when he quit his job at the A OK Walker Luxury Autoworks, was finally paid but not in a very nice way. Sure, 91,500 pennies are real and actual money but it’s not exactly a convenient way to get paid.

The coins, he said, were dumped on his drive way and also are apparently covered in an oily substance he suspects might be power-steering fluid. The coin drop was discovered on March 12. Flaten told the New York Times he believes the payment was taken as a punishment after he quit his job and demanded the company pay him his final paycheck.

Flaten said the pennies were delivered by someone who he believes to be a current employee of the shop at 7 P.M. ET on March 12. The load, which weighed more than 500 lbs., came with a short, obscenity-ridden note, he said.

It sounds like the auto shop is a pretty toxic place to work.

Flaten said he quit the job because of broken promises over when he could leave each day to pick up his child from day care. He gave notice that he planned to quit late last year, but left earlier after further disagreements at the job. When he did not receive his final paycheck, he filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor, which reached out to the repair shop three times.

Miles Walker, the owner of the repair shop told CBS46, an Atlanta TV station, “I don’t know if I did that or not, I don’t really remember. … It doesn’t matter. He got paid. That’s all that matters. He’s a f*****g weenie for even bringing it up.”

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