Herpes-Infected Monkeys And Nine Other Threats To Florida (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

LOOK: Monkeys With Herpes And 9 Other Florida Threats

Things are getting downright biblical in Florida, where residents and wildlife face afflictions worthy of their own book of Exodus.

Most recently, there's the news that a hefty number of the monkeys running wild near Ocala are infected with herpes.

But the state's pests go much further and include "frankenfish," possible "super-snakes," rat-sized snails, and constrictors with an attitude problem.

Here are 10 current threats to Florida:

Herpes-Infected Monkeys
Floridians have more to fear than just a bite from the localized population of Rhesus monkeys that hang out around Silver Springs. According to the New York Post, most of the 700 captured in recent years tested positive for the herpes-B virus.
Giant African Land Snails
Slimy snails as big as rats have been munching on South Florida stucco and plaster after the species was likely brought to the state via a Santeria practitioner. Most recently, Florida has enlisted some canine help in sniffing out the incredibly destructive invasive species.
Burmese Pythons
An estimated 150,000 Burmese pythons slither freely in Florida, inspiring the state to actually enlist the public's help in tracking them down and killing them. The snakes, often pets released into the wild, have significant disrupted the food chain of some animals in the delicate Everglades ecosystem.
Rock Pythons
Another kind of python, the rock or North African python, is establishing a population in Miami-Dade just east of the Everglades. This species has been called meaner than the Burmese -- in fact, one is behind the deaths of two Canadian children and one Miami family dog. Officials also worry it may breed with the Burmese and produce a "super-snake."
Mosquitos Carrying Dengue Fever
Citrus Greening Diseases
Getty Images
Huanglongbing -- more commonly known as HLB or "citrus greening" -- could wipe out Florida's commercial citrus industry. It has devastated groves in Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Reunion Island, Indonesia and southern China.
Snakehead 'Frakenfish'
Described as vicious predators that could eat every fish in a pond, snakeheads, native to Asia, are now established in Florida's Broward County. In May a record-breaker was caught in the C-14 canal. With razor-sharp teeth and the ability to breathe air and "walk" on its fins, the invasive species could multiple rampantly and edge out other species.
Getty Images
A booming population of invasive, venomous lionfish was recently found 250 feet underwater, too deep to be eradicated by spear-fishing divers."It's the largest, the quickest, the most extensive marine invasion we've ever seen," said a university biologist.
Cane Toads
Getty Images
Originally released in the U.S. in sugar cane fields to help control “white grubs,” cane toads now hop rampant in Florida. They are described as "highly predacious," devouring all types of other reptiles. They also secrete poison that can kill dogs and cats.
Octopus Baby Boom Ruined Stone Crab Season
Florida's stone crab season was practically non-existent this year; some trace the dismal harvest to a sudden uptick in the number of local octopuses, their natural predator. "When the octopus season went ballistic, the crabs either got attacked or dug themselves in," a fisheries expert told KeysNet.com.
Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community