Feb 9, 2013 09:45 AM
SCOTTSDALE (DP) – A four year federal wildlife program to rehabilitate the sagging numbers of a local animal population has proven to be a rousing success, according to Dr. Slade Winders of the Herpetological Society of North America. Non-indigenous to the Sonoran Desert, Realtus Serpentes is believed to have first been introduced to Arizona shortly after the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 by a traveling circus based out of Toledo, OH. An aggressive reptilian known commonly as “REALTOR,” Realtus Serpentes wasted little time overrunning the desert terrain, specifically the densely populated metro areas, earning the apex predator a fast reputation as a nuisance species.
“Times were you couldn’t turn around without bumping into six of the f&%$*rs,” according to sixty year Scottsdale resident Eli Jessop.
Such anecdotal reports were backed up by hard data. By the year 2000, there were more REALTORs in Scottsdale than all other species combined.
“We hadn’t seen this level of infestation since Menudo, possibly The Bay City Rollers,” said Early Cousins of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA when reached for comment.
The unbridled population surge was derailed with the bursting of the housing bubble in 2007, however. While omnivorous, the REALTOR’s primary food sources are the Homeownerus Equitablis and Buyerus Solventus. Suddenly deprived of both during the period Real Estate naturalists refer to as the “The Lost Years,” REALTORs that once had their choice of bloated, single-family prey were left to scavenge the picked over bones of short sale carcasses and chase down stray tenants for section 8 tenement housing. The results were devastating. According to Dr. Winders, the population of REALTORs plummeted from a high water mark of approximately seventeen trillion in the second quarter of 2006 to twenty eight within ten months.
“Classic overpopulation model,” Winders noted. “This species was so successful in dominating its environment that it outpaced its food source. The resulting attrition to the Realtus Serpentes‘ ranks brought it to the brink of extinction. That’s when we stepped in.”
In addition to losing numbers to starvation, neighboring markets and social media, the REALTOR has been a frequent target of poaching. Long coveted by boot makers for its leathery pelt, REALTOR pot-shotting spiked sharply from 2007-2009 in tandem with home value degradation and mortgage defaults.
“I got one a’ the sumbiches on the wall in my den,” Jessop boasted. “Probably weren’t the same one that sold me this dump for five hunnered grand, but what do I care? All look the same anyway.”
Placed on the endangered species list in late 2009 after a comprehensive federal wildlife study determined through geo-tagging and tracking that the Scottsdale REALTOR population was down to four REO agents, two short sale specialists and a silverback who had occupied the same bullpen cubicle since the Truman administration, the surviving animals were originally housed in the venomous reptile enclosure of the Phoenix Zoo until a new wing with WIFI and Hannibal Lecter restraints could be erected. Much to visitors’ delight, a microfiche machine and Sanka dispensary were provided to ease the transition of the one zoo staffers would come to affectionately dub “Mongo.”
In the ensuing months, new financing options emerged, interest rates remained low and prices began to stabilize, coaxing Buyerus Solventus to return to its natural grazing areas. Perhaps even more encouraging, members of the sub-species Investorus Gigantus migrated from the plains of the Midwest and the frozen reaches of Canada to take advantage of the unprecedented value bounty before all of the good grass was gone. Before long, the prey numbers had grown so large that the REALTORs began returning as well.
“First one I seen in the wild since 2008 was last March. Thought it was just another chupacabra until I saw the scales,” said Jessop.
Soon enough, Arizona Real Estate schools were operating at full capacity and license renewals picked up as quickly as they had dropped off. An aggressive public awareness campaign helped to alter the image of the REALTOR from mindless equity killer to vital member of the housing ecosystem. Through the Adopt-An-Agent program, thousands of Scottsdale residents learned to live side by side with the misunderstood tetrapod, grudgingly accepting the occasional blood sacrifice in return for the symbiotic culling of the Bankus Properitus, or “bank owned property” herds. The cumulative effect proved so successful that the REALTOR was officially removed from the endangered list in May of 2012. According to Arizona Game and Fish estimates, there are now nearly fifty billion REALTORs in the metro Phoenix area today. The success of the repopulation effort has taken even its most optimistic supporters by surprise.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be standing here today, four short years later, saying that we are ready to release the original Scottsdale Seven back into the wild,” Winders admitted. “Now our children don’t just have to read about these magnificent creatures in textbooks or visit them at our zoos, but will actually get to see them in their natural habitat for generations to come. This is a victory for us all.”
“Horses&$t,” added Jessop.
-Paul Slaybaugh, Staff Writer
© 2013 The Disassociative Press. All rights reserved.
Update: At 6:32 AM on Feb 10, 2013, the so-called “Scottsdale Seven” REALTORs were released behind a vacant, bank-owned tri-level near McDonald and Granite Reef in central Scottsdale. Two were shot within four hours and one took a job selling mobile phones, but four have been successfully re-assimilated into their packs. When reached for comment, Dr. Winders said he was proud of his team’s achievements and that he was returning to his previous work performing blindfolded root canals on rabid king cobras with overbites.