Rooney’s snake crusade falls in an awkward week

Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) is, too, although his snake trouble is of a decidedly more innocent nature. 

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The Florida lawmaker stars in an Animal Planet documentary about the recent surge in imported Burmese and African Rock pythons let loose in South Florida, and their potentially disastrous effects on the Everglades ecosystem.

But the title sounds more like a sci-fi flick than a nature show: “Man-Eating Super Snake” premiered Wednesday night and repeats over the next few days (insert Weiner joke here).

Not surprisingly, a press release from Rooney’s office played down the show’s goofy title, but made good use of a now-notorious photo of Rooney displaying a 14-foot Burmese python skin during a 2009 Judiciary subcommittee meeting.

Rooney’s aim is to enact an eventual ban on Asian python imports, as well as legalizing snake-hunting in the Everglades.

 But not everyone’s convinced that man-eating super snakes are worth all this hassle. The Palm Beach Post notes that there are no reports of any humans having ever been eaten “or even nibbled on” by escaped imported pythons. Nor were any snakes killed during a monthlong snake hunt authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last year.