When it comes to things we don’t want to find here in the United States, especially when we are out and about with our family and friends, one is probably deadly King Cobra snakes.
Now, you are probably thinking that is something you will never have to worry about, right up until you realize that it could be a problem in the future thanks to some very unscrupulous people importing them in, of all things, chip canisters. Chip canisters that illustrate one of the many reasons that Trump’s budget cuts are disastrous.
Suspicious that a package shipped from Hong Kong might contain smuggled animals, U.S. agents who opened the package found three live king cobra snakes inside, hidden in potato chip cans. The man who was to receive the package outside Los Angeles has been arrested on federal charges.
The interesting thing here is that the snakes were discovered by agriculture specialist of Customs and Border Protection, who suspected drugs. However, when they realized that there was movement in the canisters, they called in Fish and Wildlife Services who were on the phone with the Agricultural experts when they opened one of the canisters and found a snake. They had been advised not to open it, until it could be done safely, but got lucky and the snake did not strike. If the snake had, someone would have died, because even in metropolitan Los Angeles, the nearest anti-venin was too far away to save their lives, at the world famous San Diego Zoo.
These snakes, like many other illegal animals, were likely destined for the black market and the possibility that some corrupt or underprepared owner could unwittingly or purposefully release them into our country. All the more reason to fund the essential organization, you would think.
Now, here is where the illustration comes in, Trump’s administration chose Ryan Zinke as the Secretary of the Interior — the body that is in charge Fish and Wildlife services — and they have announced fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget that is less than half of the budget they operated on in 2016. The FY 2016 budget was $2.966 billion, and the budget set forth by Zinke and Trump is a paltry $1.3 billion.
It doesn’t matter who you are, a family, a business, or a federal service, when your budget is suddenly and unceremoniously chopped in half, something’s gotta give. You cut, you make sacrifices, and you lose a lot. Hopefully, what we lose isn’t the people that stand between us and adding deadly King Cobra snakes to Florida’s already expensive invasive snake problem. Not to mention any other state in which they can survive.