It Takes a Village: Wrestling Invasive Reptiles in the Everglades It Takes a Village: Wrestling Invasive Reptiles in the Everglades
Environment

It Takes a Village: Wrestling Invasive Reptiles in the Everglades

by Dave Burdick

January 17, 2013

What do you call three guys headed into the Everglades with guns, "poking sticks" and the intent to kill Burmese pythons? 

Optimists. 

Of course, just about any approach to invasive species requires unusual levels of optimism and maybe even a little crazy. Remember the guy who grew up vegetarian and now hunts and eats invasive species? He's got a clever little thing going, but hunting armadillo and hunting 13-foot snakes are different things.

And hunting 13-foot snakes—give or take a few feet—is the idea behind the 2013 Python Challenge, an event from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

If you've ever spent any time in Florida—or if you haven't—I'd highly recommend reading this story about the challenge. It's loaded with gems like this:

Jeff Fobb, a volunteer with the Nature Conservancy, drew a large crowd at Saturday's event as he demonstrated on a 13-foot python how to wrangle one of the serpents.

"The first 80 percent is putting your hands on an animal this size,"

Fobb said, holding the snake by the head and tail. "You don't wait for the animal to wrap around your torso."

But, someone in the crowd asked, "what if it does?"

Replied Fobb: "Don't let it."

Right! 

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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It Takes a Village: Wrestling Invasive Reptiles in the Everglades