Here will be preserved in primitive wildness, the birds, weird ferns,
tropical flowers and unusual shrubs, and perhaps the last large habitat
of wild animals in Florida.
The sea-cow, or manatee, a fast disappearing mammal of Florida
coastal waters, lives and rears her young in the protection of the park.
Bear and deer roam unmolested save by panthers and wildcats.
Crocodiles and the largest alligators are found here. The Royal Palm,
depleted by landscape gardeners, grows undisturbed. The orchids, the
poinsettias, and the ferns, some 20 feet high, some less than a quarter-
inch wide and 12 feet long, are being preserved. The black mangrove
and the white mangrove, their roots catching and holding trash, leaves,
and debris of all kinds, continue their work as natural land builders.
Here, too, grow the pull-and-haul-back vines, covered with spines
curving inward and outward to catch the uninitiated, so that he can go
neither forward nor back.
The park will keep this natural life intact, to form a complete
picture of the Everglades with all its danger and beauty, after the rest of
it has been reclaimed from the wilderness.
Muck fires have always been a danger in the Everglades. To
date, 500,000 acres of land have been destroyed by such fires. Starting
from a grass fire, the dry muck catches and burns for weeks, eating
beneath the earth in a smouldering [sic] fire difficult to see or reach.