Organized South Florida Invasive Reptile Hunt: For The Cost Of A License And A $26 Permit
"Training class Monday held by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in the Everglades." Image credit:Miami Herald, Tim Chapman of Herald staff.
South Florida didn't have to wait for a climate disaster - months of disastrously cold weather which killed native fish, wildlife, and crops - to be inundated with unpleasantness. They were already crawling with Burmese or Indian python; reticulated python; northern and southern African rock python; amethystine or scrub python; green anaconda; and Nile monitor lizard.
Florida has come up with a no-cost, safer way to manage the reptilian invasion.
State-trained hunters are giving the Sunshine State a fighting chance to control these nasties and in doing so to save the native fauna. That's right. Hunters are saving endangered species. For the cost of a hunting license and a $26 special permit, they can participate in a state managed hunt for the voracious and dangerous invasive reptiles. Three cheers for those old boys.
There's a required training session for participants so they won't get bit and squished and so they can properly identify the quarry. Recommended cartridges are .22 and birdshot. (No center fires other than shotgun allowed as a safety measure.) There's talk of using a machete but I'd say no thanks to that option. Blam.In case you're wondering, Florida mandates a hunters safety course to get a license. Although online learning and testing is offered, it is unlikely tourists will be doing much of the hunting.
Based on the comments on the Miami Herald coverage, looks like the State will have to expand the program rapidly to prevent the invasive reptiles from gobbling up all the wildlife tourists came to see. (Burmese pythons, remember, are capable of eating an alligator.)
Wonder if it is legal to sell fashion items made of Florida/Burmese Python Skins and if PETA has taken a position on this?
Python shoes. Image credit:StrutAndTurn
Suggested new name for this activity: slinky-plinkin'
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