Rooney hunts Burmese pythons in Everglades

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

As the night went black, the pythons came out to play - Rooney caught three adults and two "hatchling" pythons between the hours of 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Wildlife specialists are demonstrating local Florida residents the technique to hunt and capture invasive Burmese pythons, as the big snake has become a headache for the USA state and other wild and even rare animals in the state.

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney earned a new title Thursday: Python hunter. "Innovative ideas such as the Python Elimination Program incentivize members of the public to assist in removing this invasive species and remind us that we all have a vested interest in restoring the Everglades". The program has been renewed. The tribesmen are world-renowned snake catchers from India.

"Having also experienced the program firsthand, I can not say enough about the tremendous work of our bounty hunters working long hours and enduring the harsh summer elements to rid the Everglades of this destructive python threat", said O'Keefe.

Dan O'Keefe, SFWMD Governing Board Chairman, said the hunt is a worthy challenge for anyone, especially the congressman.

"Eliminating one snake from the Everglades is much more than a single kill".

"It's the prevention of 40 to 50 more snakes by destroying a large female carrying 40 to 50 eggs, and it's the countless number of native Florida animals spared from the jaws of these killing-machines", said O'Keefe. But since its first spotting in the 1980s in the Everglades National Park, the population of Burmese pythons has grown to an estimated total of between 150,000 and 300,000. "We need the public's help", said Carol Lyn Parrish, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which organized the 2013 public python hunt. "I am working every day to increase funding for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and will continue to raise awareness every way possible".

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