Click here to see the work the National Wildlife Federation and the Florida Wildlife Federation are doing to save the Florida panther. He spontaneously bursts into song about snakes, about his grandson, about rural decline in America. “How many of them are making it to adulthood? In December 2016, a YouTube video showed a Burmese python in Big Cypress national preserve, next to the Everglades, strangling an alligator. A freeze-dried constrictor is coiled up in the corner, but the star attraction is 16ft and 160lb of grossly intimidating girth draped across a dissection table. Both women laugh as Van Gorder retrieves a dog collar. “They bring one in a bag and they drop it on the ground, and they say: ‘Catch it!’” says Van Gorder, adding that this is where they learned the safest way to grab a snake is by its head. Urge Congress to Support It. This viral video led the executive director of the South Florida water management district, who was horrified by what he saw, to create the district’s own Python Elimination Program, in 2017. When I visit the conservancy, an environmental advocacy not-for-profit in Naples, I am ushered into a lab filled with snake skeletons and a giant screen showing a map of south-west Florida covered in dots, each one representing a python that is currently being tracked. Burmese pythons were first reported as established in Everglades National Park in 2000, according to research reported by the University of Florida. “Peggy’s been bit once, but really, we’re very careful.”. The Swamp Apes do not kill pythons because the last thing a veteran needs is further exposure to violence, Rahill says. January 17, 2018 / 11:58 PM / CBS News Weirdest news stories from Florida 33 photos. According to federal importation data, more than 99,000 Burmese pythons, which are native to south-east Asia, were brought into the US between 1999 and 2006 alone. These individuals must be over 18, and they must pass a stringent vetting process. DeSantis steps up the fight. A popular (but possibly apocryphal) theory is that hundreds of them escaped from a breeding facility flattened in 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. And then, of course, what’s the most effective way to stop them? Within a 55 sq mile chunk of Collier county, the conservancy has removed enough pythons to outweigh a small aircraft. (The first was held in 2013; there have been none since.) The gator vs. python death match a Florida man recorded? Uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Burmese pythons have no natural predators here. PALM BEACH — The snake’s head … First, it was the python vs. alligator. They can also live for up to 25 years, grow over 20 feet long and weight up to 200 pounds. And then it occurred to him that what he was doing in the Everglades might be of value to them, too: “What a perfect group of people to get out here and experience the ruggedness of this, honor on a mission.”. There are many unknowns when it comes to Burmese pythons in south Florida. Whichever wild one you’re thinking of, Evangeline Cummings’ story might change your “That’s So Florida” list forever. Catching the pythons is a way of “protecting what I care about, the environment and my home,” she says. “There was no way I could pin the head,” Koehler says, referring to the snake that was partly responsible. What’s the sex ratio? Then they attended a live-capture tutorial, also offered by the FWC. Located in Sunrise, Florida, the Panthers are the southernmost team in the NHL. Inside the box is a material bag, and inside the bag is a 9ft Burmese python that Aycock captured the night before and named Fred. “Them damn pythons,” he wrote. We pull into a poorly lit section at the back of a casino and he and Detre lift a white box out of the truck. A self-described “army brat”, she is not really from anywhere. A 10-foot python was about to eat a 4-foot alligator when a Florida man came to the rescue. In addition, the FWC and the South Florida water management district each created independent python removal squads in 2017 of hardy, civic-minded individuals who are skilled at capturing the non-native constrictors. All rights reserved. “See that? Irresponsible owners who can’t handle giant predatory pets like Burmese pythons dump them in the wild where the snakes terrorize native wildlife and people. 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January 16, 2021