This 12-foot snake is a handful for one snake hunter.
Most people are aware of Florida's numerous invasive species problems by now. One of the most worrisome ones is the Burmese python. Florida wildlife officials believe the big snakes, normally native to Asia, first got into the Everglades as released or escaped pets. Unfortunately for the Sunshine State, the climate and the habitat of this part of the country are the perfect habitat for these animals.
To combat the problem, Florida employs many full-time freelance snake hunters to scour the Everglades, removing as many of the big reptiles as they can. It's a dirty, messy, and dangerous job, but someone must do it.
This video showcases a typical capture by one of these snake hunters. YouTuber Florida's Wildest goes back to a place he knows holds pythons and ends up tangling with a 12-footer all by himself. It makes for an incredibly tense situation.
What you saw here was typical of most snake hunts in Florida today. Although many python hunters prefer to work in pairs for safety reasons. It also usually makes the bagging portion of the hunt easier when someone else is there to open and tie it off. In case you were wondering, most of the animals are euthanized. Often, they are also autopsied and studied further by scientists to help officials further combat the problem.
One of the reasons the snake population has exploded in Florida, aside from perfect habitat, is the fact that a female snake can lay as many as 100 eggs in a clutch. It only takes a few years for these hatchlings to reach six or seven feet in length, which makes them almost invulnerable to predators other than alligators.
In the meantime, while the young snakes are growing, they are a huge threat to native birds, turtles, alligators and more that call the Everglades home. No wonder Florida wildlife officials have continued to expand their python hunting programs.
At this point, the Burmese python may well be a permanent resident of the Everglades, but at least there are men and women out there working hard to keep these large reptiles in check.
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