The Snake Hunters in Florida

J. Harris

The record-breaking python recently caught in the Everglades. RYAN AUSBURN/FACEBOOK [ Miami Herald ]

How much can you be paid?

“On Friday night we pulled this BEAST of a snake out of waist-deep water in the middle of the night, deep in the Everglades. I have never seen a snake anywhere near this size and my hands were shaking as I approached her,” Pavlidis wrote on his Facebook page.

Two Florida python hunters caught the longest Burmese python ever captured in Florida. The female measured 18.9 feet, beating the state’s previous record for length of 18.8 feet. Source: Miami Herald

The python eliminiation program is funded by the state of Florida to clear out as many pythons as possible from the Everglades. Pythons eat all the deer, bird eggs, rabbits and opposums in the area. Thousands have applied to become hunters. Easy money if you can endure heat, mosquitoes and alligators. Hunters have removed more than 2,500 snakes so to make good money you can deal with any kind of physical attacks. They are paid $8.65 an hour plus depending on the length of the snake, $50 for the first four feet and $25 for each foot after that. Also, if they catch a female tending to eggs they get an additional $200. Everyone is paid by the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,

There are other perks as well. Ausburn was recently hired to make items for the Miami Superbowl made from the python hides.

Tom Rahill of Plantation started a group called Swamp Apes that takes veterans to the Everglades to hunt as a way to tackle their post-traumatic anxieties. Source: Sun Sentinal

There is an estimation of between 100,000 to 300,000 pythons in the Everglades and in the past two years the hunters have only touched on the number (5,000) that needs to be eradicated.

Some have been pets that were dropped there by owners that realized that these snakes are just "too big" to deal with as well as the results of mating. This is man's fault. Dogs and other pets are dropped off in the Everglades for this same reason among others.

There are competitions such as the Python Bowl that raised awareness of this challenge. Pythons are decimating native wildlife in the Everglades and the state is doing everything it can to control them.

“We want everyone to know that the python is a very serious threat to our beautiful Everglades,” said Eric Eikenberg, chief executive officer of the Everglades Foundation. Source: Miami Herald

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I usually write about a lot of subject matter from my own personal life to animal behavior. Everything in between. I have been writing for over two years but have always been a writer and avid reader. I lived in Atlanta, GA for sixty years then moved to South Florida and it was a huge change for me. I write truth as I see it in hopes it will help others.

Plantation, FL

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