|About 100 live boas caught, action continues through May 16|
|Saturday, 05 May 2012 13:39|
The boa constrictor is an invasive species that is causing immense damage to the island's fauna, especially the bird population. The boa was imported to Aruba as pet and then, eventually were freed as they became too difficult to handle in normal households.
The park is asking for people to bring in live specimens because often people mistake the endemic garden snake "santanero" for small boa. Since the santanero is endangered and facing extinction, organizers want to avoid that more are killed unnecessarily. In addition, Aruba has another endemic snake species, the "cascabel", which is a shy rattlesnake and not usually found near houses.
The boas received at the park will be disposed off in a humane manner.
The park's campaign runs until May 16, 2012 and will be closed with a presentation of prizes to those who caught the most boas.
The park's public relations representative, Jimmy Meyer in an interview said that they have already received almost 100 boas and the largest had a length of 2.5 meters.
The average length of boas found on Aruba is just over 2 meters; the largest they have found had a length of 3 meters. But they eat and grow and hopefully on Aruba we will never find 4 meter long boas, which are not unusual in their natural habitat in South America, Meyer said. Their menu, Meyer explained, consists of birds, rats, mice and chicken. One of the biggest problems with the boa is that if the adult is larger, the children are also larger.
The boa does not lay eggs, but has live young.