Why Dont The Everglade Hunters Just Shoot The Burmese Pythons

Why Dont The Everglade Hunters Just Shoot The Burmese Pythons – When Florida wildlife managers effectively declared “open season” on iguanas, they called for the animals to be killed on private property. And just this week they redoubled their efforts to exterminate the pythons. Both animals are considered invasive species in Florida, but recent and past issues with how the animals were killed have led to accusations of animal cruelty. The state says all killings must be done “humanely”. But what does this really mean?

In April, wildlife researchers set a record in the Everglades. A 17-foot-long, 140-pound pregnant female python and her 73 eggs.

Why Dont The Everglade Hunters Just Shoot The Burmese Pythons

Pythons have wreaked havoc in South Florida for years. They are long-lived, prolific breeders and large. They can eat almost anything, including medium-sized mammals. A few years ago, the state approved the hunting and killing of pythons in the Everglades. Now it is expanding eradication efforts:.

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“We’re going to increase the pressure on a snake that’s really destroying our entire natural food chain in the beautiful Everglades,” environmentalist and developer Ron Bergeron said at a recent news conference with South Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Bergeron, known as “Alligator Ron,” is a member of the South Florida Water Management District and previously served on the Florida Wildlife Commission. DeSantis recently announced an increase in python eradication efforts, including the possibility of killing the animal in any state park where they are found.

In June, the FWC announced that iguanas can now be killed on private property. Soon after, reports surfaced of people mistreating animals, including a video posted on Instagram showing people cheered on by bystanders running and hitting lick carts with shopping carts .

The FWC sent out updated guidelines condemning animal cruelty, noting that it is investigating the video and saying that the iguanas must be killed humanely, but the agency did not explain how that is done.

Bounty Hunting For Invasive Pythons In Florida

“That’s one of our objections to these orders because reptiles have a unique physiology,” said Lori Kettler of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “They are very tolerant of conditions that result in lower oxygen levels and blood pressure. So it’s critical when you kill a reptile that the brain is destroyed immediately. Otherwise, they can continue to feel pain for up to a time”.

Kettler recognizes Florida’s problem with invasive species and the need to remove them. But he disputed the lack of instructions issued with such kill orders. There is definitely a wrong way to kill pythons and iguanas. There is also a correct way:

“The only approved non-conditional euthanasia method for reptiles … is the use of a penetrating captive bolt gun or a shotgun blast to the brain. And even with these two methods, humans must be properly practice positioning,” he said.

The FWC noted that people who are not trained in animal handling should seek help from those who are. Still, Kettler and others prefer that no animals be killed, and he says Florida’s problem with invasive species is a people problem. After all, iguanas and pythons did not come to the state.

Guardians Of The Glades

“Wild populations are the result of escapes and releases into the wild. So one issue PETA has with the commission is that they banned private ownership of pythons years ago. Why didn’t they do the same with iguanas ?”

The United States banned the import and sale of Burmese pythons in 2012, and the state has its own ban on pythons, along with lionfish and other invasive species. But there is no such restriction on the sale of iguanas. The FWC says the reptile ban is coming too late now, as the species is already established in Florida.

Lynn Hatter graduated from Florida A&M University with a degree in journalism. Lynn has worked as a reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007, primarily covering education and health care issues. He is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and participates in the NPR Kaiser Health Reporting Partnership and the NPR Education Initiative. Invasive Burmese pythons ran wild in the Sunshine State in the late 1970s, and their numbers have exploded since then. Boa constrictors can grow up to 20 feet long and 200 pounds. They are found primarily in the Everglades ecosystem of South Florida, where they destroy native populations of mammals, including jackrabbits, foxes, and raccoons. In response, local officials are supporting the species’ only top predator: humans. Here’s everything you need to know about hunting giant pythons in Florida.

Florida python hunting is something anyone who wants to wrestle with a large snake can do. Not only can you legally hunt pythons 365 days a year on private land and in 25 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) areas without a hunting permit or license, but you can also participate in a Python Challenge sponsored by the state, which offers money. . prizes for participants. Python hunting can even be a full-time job. The FWC’s Python Action Team pays professional python bounty hunters an hourly wage plus a bonus based on the length of each snake removed.

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Donna Kalil, a professional python hunter for the South Florida Water District, has been a member of the FWC Python Action Team since the program began in 2017. She has caught 742 pythons, including a 16-footer, and recorded the time , date, location, temperature and other information about his catches, including the weight and length of each snake. He also introduced old and young hunters to the sport. “I can tell you that almost all the hunters I have contacted are not ready for python hunting, because it cannot be compared to python hunting,” said Kalil

. “In traditional hunting, you use a gun or a bow to kill your prey from a distance. Python hunting is practical. You have to catch them first and then take them out after keeping them under control. It is completely different.

Invasive pythons are primarily found in the Everglades, a 1.5 million acre swamps, sloughs, cypress swamps, hardwood hammocks and pine forests. Pythons use every bit of it, including water, which can be hard for them to find. The most popular method for python hunting in Florida is to travel along lighted roads on summer nights. “For most people, this is their best chance to catch a python,” Kalil said. “But so many people are doing it now that I think it’s more fun to hunt on foot for brood balls.”

Broodballs are writhing masses of snakes that form when multiple males devour a brooding female. They can be seen from afar in the fields in February and March. In April, Kalil changed tactics and objectives by switching to hunting for prey. In the summer, the young appear. “It’s time to watch out for the little pythons that come on the road,” he said. The best time of day to hunt depends greatly on the temperature. “If the temperature is 75 degrees or below, I will not hunt at night. If the temperature is above 75 degrees, I will start hunting around sunset.”

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The most important thing to remember when hunting pythons in Florida is to pick the right side of the snake. “I’m a snake lover, so I always shudder to see men grab them by the tails and swing them,” Kalil said. “If you do, they’ll get more excited and you’ll run the risk of being bitten.”

Although pythons are not venomous, their bites can still cause serious damage. The fangs of a large snake can cause significant tissue damage and even fatal blood loss. When hunting pythons in Florida, Kalil went straight for the head, although it took him a while to get into position on a snake buried in the shelter. “If you’re stealth hunting and the snake is calm, you can usually walk slowly by it without it running. It’s when you put them in your hands that they go ballistic.

Anything over 10 feet would be difficult to handle, and Kalil said he once had trouble with a 7-footer, which wrapped around his neck when he was interrupted by a phone call. Anything over 14 feet is a “monster” in his book and a two-man works for most hunters. “If it’s big, it’s better to have someone hold those coils from you, because it can be very deadly,” he said. “If you’re alone and there’s a snake around you and you can’t get rid of it, the best thing to do is let it go. He will generally leave if given the chance because he has no intention of harming you. You might get bitten, but it won’t kill you. To be safer, he taped the mouths of the large snakes before removing them.

While professional hunters like Kalil are allowed to transport live pythons, Florida regulations require amateur python hunters in Florida to humanely kill the snakes they catch. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) recommends a two-step process: First render the snake unconscious

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