Thursday, July 16, 2009

FL set to declare open season on pythons

July 15th, 2009

MIAMI, Florida (NBC) — Florida is set to declare open season on pythons.

Biologists have officially declared the south Florida python population of more than 150,000 snakes “out of control” and spreading.

The snakes are squeezing out native predators, and that has many worried.

Florida had considered everything from using volunteers to trap them to training beagles to sniff them out.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto wants action.

“We’re developing a plan immediately, that we will roll out, that we will allow people who are trained, supervised by us, to go out and hunt pythons and kill them,” he said.

The plan would open 750,000 acres of state land to python hunters with permits.

They would be paid a small bounty for each snake.

The problem is state land is closely intertwined with federal land throughout The Everglades, and Everglades National Park where the pythons got their start.

Hunting isn’t allowed there, and the borders between state and federal land often aren’t marked.

National Park officials vow to use every non-lethal idea to get rid of pythons instead.