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Keep up with news and features of interest to the reptile and amphibian community on the kingsnake.com blog. We cover breaking stories from the mainstream and scientific media, user-submitted photos and videos, and feature articles and photos by Jeff Barringer, Richard Bartlett, and other herpetologists and herpetoculturists.

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Report from the Florida python hunt

By kingsnake.com
Tue, January 15 2013 at 16:42

Comments
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Terrie Thompson - #1 - 2013-01-15 17:40 -

I think this is horrible! Pythons in the everglades have been grossly over inflated and no one seems to realize what 1000 jackasses are going to do with the already fragile ecosystem as they go tramping threw the swamps looking for that cash. No one seems to care that it is acceptable to kill these animals by any means they choose, like drilling threw there heads. This is NOT an acceptable form of a humane death. And how many of those jerks will be bring in snakes from outside just to collect that bounty??? you sure couldn't get $5000 for them any other way so why not sacrifice them for a buck.

Wayne Fowlie - #2 - 2013-01-16 14:50 -

The 'Glades' python hunt is frightening;appearances suggest any snake with a pattern will be slaughtered!

Sgt Breen USMC - #3 - 2013-01-17 04:57 -

I live in south west Florida & am sickend by the actions of our paid for PETA Govener has taken towards the Pythons. It reminds me a lot of any other animal scare that has come out. Sharks, Aliigators, Alligator Gars, Snakehead Fish, Rattlesnakes, & so on. It's this simple, my great state of Florida is absolutly covered in invasive speices. Thats right COVERED! The majority of the PLANT life here is from somewhere else but no one cares, the fresh water FISH are a mix of speices from other places but no one cares, pet BIRDS let loose that have taken up residence here but no one cares, we have insect life from god knows where but no one cares, well at least they admit that nothing can be done about it. There is also the wild pigs that someone introduced a long time ago that have taken over but no one cares. The Cuban Tree Frog and Cuban Brown Anole have damn near run the native Florida Green Tree Frog and Florida Green Anole out of town but no one cares. But my favorite of all is the ferrel Cat & Dog population that is out of control here and hate to break the news to people but cats & dogs have killed more people in single year then the entire time frame in which large snakes have been kept in the United States and the population of these adorable animals is out of control, but no one cares. For example the shelter by my house which takes in strays has over 500! Cats. It is a large facility & I agree with no kill shelters but why is it that now that the pythons have become a proublem that we have turned into heartless killers finding it ok to kill one animal cruely and not another. I always ask this one simple question to people who find it ok to kill something like a snake with what ever they can find. "Would you kill a stray dog in your yard with a shovel? or would you call Animal Control?"

Secular Absolutist - #4 - 2013-01-17 17:08 -

I see HuffPo did their normal anti-anything piece on what should be a enviro-rag's dream. They should be glorifying the cleaning up of the Everglades. Of course they do not.

Personally, I see no difference between a bullet in the head of either a feral burmese python, a feral dog or a feral cat. I look at it as a bullet well used.

If the goal is to clean up the environment, then let's clean up the environment, but let's not try to have it both ways. One cannot complain about "invasive species" and then complain about one being removed from the environment.

JS Argyle - #5 - 2013-01-18 09:23 -

Let me begin by saying that I believe the python problem is grossly overinflated by hype--I will buy that the snakes are a significant problem in a very restricted region, but that does not translate to "OMG, they'll learn to hibernate and spread to Minnesota in 10 years!" Nor is it the pythons' fault that they're there at all, and as a snake person it makes me sad to see them paying the price for human screw-ups. (Hurricane Andrew is only to blame up to a point: the snakes would not have been in a position for the hurricane to release them if the demand for them as pets hadn't brought them to Florida in the first place.) And as has been rightly pointed out, a real problem with bounty systems is that it encourages fraud. Back when there was a bounty on wolves, for instance, a skillful trapper could stretch the scalp and ears of a coyote or even a dog to make them larger and more wolfish-looking and collect the payment.

At the same time, the inarguable fact is that these snakes DO NOT BELONG in the Everglades. Unlike a feral cat, it's hard to confuse a feral Burmese python with a free-roaming pet (personally I think allowing your cat to roam is asking for an injured or dead cat, but that's just me)and morally I see no difference in killing a feral python, a wild hog, or a handful of pigeons.

I do, however, agree with Sgt. Breen--to be consistent, let's go after some other invasives. Florida's introduced monkeys, for instance. The mongooses in Hawaii. Feral dog packs in the South. And my favorites--mute swans, the most vicious and destructive waterfowl ever mistakenly introduced to an unsuspecting continent. Oh, whoops! Those animals all appear on greeting cards and in cute stories, we can't!


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