Python Posse

Florida assembles big-snake wrangling team to handle pythons-gone-wild in the Everglades
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Florida assembles big-snake wrangling team to handle pythons-gone-wild in the Everglades

We've mentioned Florida's python problem before—but now the state hopes to do something about it. Governor Charlie Crist is on the verge of licensing a "python posse" to go out and hunt and kill Burmese pythons that infest the Everglades.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson has joined the chorus of politicians calling for organized hunting efforts to stop python proliferation.

"There's one way to do this: kill the snakes," Nelson said in an e-mail.

"We've got to start doing something," said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. ""Gov. Crist wants to take action to stop the spread of this snake."

Wildlife researchers estimate as many as 100,000 Burmese pythons now live and breed in the Everglades, spawned from an original population of dumped pets and pet-store specimens who escaped after hurricanes blasted Florida. The Burmese python can grow up to 20 feet, and while it doesn't pose much of a threat to people, it's known to hunt the birds, bobcats, deer, and even alligators of the Everglades.

When I was little, I loved snakes, and wished that giant pythons and Anacondas lived closer to home. Guess I got my wish, 20 years too late.

—Ted Alvarez

Florida hopes to start hunting pythons (Miami Herald)

Image credit: aehack