Florida may be looking to hire some snake hunters.
In recent years, Florida’s struggles with invasive large snakes like the Burmese python have been well documented.
So, the South Florida Water Management District is mulling over a new pilot program to help control the invasive constrictors. The $175,000 project would pay hired snake hunters by the hour and offer bonuses for any snakes they kill.
According to the Miami Herald, hired hunters would be working to rid lands managed by the district in Miami-Dade County.
At this point, it’s just a proposal, but more details will be made after the idea is presented to a governing board. The Miccosukee Tribe, which has a lease on the land for hunting and cultural reasons, is for the idea.
“The only way we are going to solve this problem is with the public help. Of course there will need to be strict controls on access. But I think it’s a great idea,” Truman Duncan, water resources director for the Miccosukee told the Miami Herald.
He noted the tribe’s own wildlife officers focus on tribal lands. This means a large portion of the Everglades is left pretty much unchecked.
As an additional concern, the snakes are breeding in Florida. Duncan told the paper wildlife officials discovered five snakes in a mating ball. While officers killed a female and two male snakes, two others escaped back into the wild.
Pythons have long been a concern in the Everglades for their devastating effect on native wildlife. Last year, a 15-foot python became a viral sensation after it was revealed the snake had swallowed three deer.