As for other potential prey, human beings – like rodents, beavers and deer – are mammals, government scientists confirmed.
This is obviously why we pay the government scientists the big bucks: to keep hairy bipedal animals with mammary glands informed about their taxonomic status. I’m imagining some blase Californian reading the article which tells them that these pythons eat small mammals, completely unconcerned, until, like a howling siren of alarm, the paper informs them that they happen to be mammals, too, and are therefore likely to be eaten by snakes.
And it gets more amusing. The snakes are traveling to California from Florida, following a trail made by the “large population of beavers along the way” — a path that is unimpeded by the presence of few lions and tigers to eat them. After explaining that the snakes will not be found in the colder areas of the state, readers receive another terrifying nugget of information.
Such remote areas, however, could not support every panicked Californian seeking to avoid the giant snakes.
How many panicked Californians are there, anyway? Did they all read their morning paper, gasp in shock, “Holy crap, I’m a mammal? Snakes are gonna eat me!” and run for the hills?
This was apparently on the front page of the SF Chronicle…I hope the writer had fun putting it together, and that not too many readers clogged the freeways as they fled to the Sierras.