Letter from America: fear and loathing in the Everglades

Panthers, bears and crocodiles, oh my: here’s what happens in the Floridian swamp under cover of darkness

Mike Kimmel, who goes by the name of Python Cowboy, recently posted a video on YouTube which shows him capturing a 17-foot python – which promptly sank its teeth into an artery in his upper left arm

Earlier this month, I made my first trip to the Everglades, the 1.5 million square area swamp wilderness that takes up most of the southern end of the Florida peninsula. It’s home to panthers, black bears, alligators, crocodiles, countless indigenous specimens of flora and used to teem with native snakes, birds, and fur-bearing wildlife. No longer.

Sometime in the 1980s, when Florida was home to as many cocaine barons as reptiles, the former developed a ...