Florida’s Great Snake Hunt Is a Cheap Stunt

Jan 22, 2013
The Reptile Report
by Robyn

The Reptile Report - Bryan Christy writes thoughtfully for National Geographic about the Florida Python Hunt. An excerpt:

It’s useful to turn wildlife problems into something else, such as a meal. After decades of importing hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asian pythons—Burmese and others—to supply the American pet trade, Florida discovered its Jurassic Park reptile wholesale industry had a flaw: Snakes get out.

So do iguanas, macaws, lionfish, monkeys, and myriad other exotic species that Florida’s wildlife dealers import or breed, Americans keep as pets, and Florida now hosts as established species.

It’s also helpful in an event as violent and ill thought out as this one to distract the public from a key detail: Python Challenge contestants are forbidden to bring any snakes they find in alive.

Instead they’re advised to brain the pythons with a captive bolt gun (the weapon used by the villain in No Country for Old Men), chop their heads off, or shoot them. No experience is required. Training can be done online by reviewing slides showing pictures of pythons and other non-native snakes along with pictures of Florida snakes. Kill these, don’t kill those.

Read the full article after the jump, well worth your while.

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