Florida Turns To Snake Charmers In Battle With Pythons

January 25, 2017

© Dmitry Kalinovsky | Dreamstime

Florida has a Burmese Python problem. The one-time pets have become a threat to the natural ecosystem of south Florida.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been trying out different programs to control the spread of pythons, with tracking devices to public Python Challenge hunting competitions.  However this year, they're trying out an old method for the first time. A program with the University of Florida and FWC have resulted in bringing in two snake charmers from southern India to hunt the non-native pythons.  So far the methods of the two tribesman have been successful.  In two weeks, they've caught 14 pythons.  By comparison, last year's python challenge with over a 1,000 entries over a month caught 106 snakes. The two snake charmers hunt with only tire irons to whack through the everglades brush and use traditional hunting methods to track and capture the elusive.  One UF biologist said that seven of the 14 snakes would not have been found without these ancient methods. Once the India snake charmers complete their task next month, the state will tally up the costs versus the number of snakes caught to see which program is most effective as means to control. Estimates of the number of Burmese pythons in Florida range from 30,000 to 300,000.

SOURCE: Miami Herald

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