The numbers are in for Florida’s python elimination program and they are ridicules. The state hired hunters to go into swamps and remove the unwanted snakes. After they tallied up all the inches and pounds the final numbers were astounding.
According to News Channel 4 out of Jacksonville, hunters killed over two miles worth of snakes with a weight approximately 10.4 tons. In total, 1,711 snakes have been captured during the program which is attempting to get rid of Burmese pythons that continue to do severe damage to the Everglades ecosystem.
Hunters were paid $50 a snake and $25 dollar bonus per foot for snakes over 4 feet. So an 8 ft snake would be worth $150 bucks. Also, a snake found guarding a nest with eggs is worth an additional $100.
The largest python ever killed in Florida was a female that measured 18 feet in length and weighed 128 pounds. If that snake was captured by one of the hunters it would have netted them a cool $400.
Brian Hargrove of Miami captured 235 snakes, the most of any hunter in the program.
Even though those numbers sound impressive much more is needed. Scientist estimate that conservatively there are at least 30,000 pythons in Florida and some researchers say that number could be as high as 300,000. Either way the removal of 1,711 snakes is great but is only scratching the surface.
A lot more work needs to be done. More hunters and money is needed to even put a dent into the population. Hopefully people and Government officials can come together and take even more decisive action.