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Monday, June 5, 2017

Smith: Make the Successful Everglades Python Hunt Permanent

Make the Successful Everglades Python Hunt Permanent

June 5, 2017 - 6:00am 
Those who scoffed in March at the South Florida Water Management District's Python Elimination Program can eat their words now.
The program ended June 1 as an unqualified success -- 154 dead snakes, weighing a total of 4,000 pounds, all taken from Water Management District lands in Miami-Dade County. Many females killed were carrying eggs.
Drop in the bucket, you say? Considering wildlife officials estimate there may be as many as 150,000 Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades, slithering eating machines competing for the ecosystem's wildlife -- maybe you're right. Maybe 154 kills don't solve the problem.
But the Water Management District always said, we have to start somewhere, and four years ago when a python hunt first was proposed, no environmental group was prepared to take it on. In fact, nobody had a suggestion for any kind of eradication program. Only the District stepped up.

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