10 pythons in 10 days earn Florida hunters whopping bounties

Ten invasive Burmese pythons have been captured by paid hunters working for the South Florida Water Management District, bringing them a total of $2,000 in bonuses based on length.

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The hunt, which also pays minimum wage – $8.10 per hour – has been ongoing for 10 days.

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The longest snake captured was nearly 16 feet long and 135 pounds. The kill earned hunter Patrick Campbell $350. Hunters Nicholas Baños and Leonardo Sanchez found the second-largest snake to date on April 1 at 15 feet 2 inches. This python netted the hunters $325.

“For these hunters to have already eliminated 10 snakes is tremendous, given the fact that simply locating the elusive python is literally like finding a moving, camouflaged needle in a haystack,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O’Keefe in a press release. “It’s great to see that this Governing Board’s action to challenge this invasive and destructive predator has yielded early results.”

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The experimental program is being conducted to see how effective full-time hunters can be in cutting down on the population of pythons in the Everglades. There are 25 participants, who will continue hunting until June.

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Hunters earn an immediate $50 bonus for a snake up to 4 feet and an extra $25 for each foot above that.

Ten invasive Burmese pythons have been captured by paid hunters working for the South Florida Water Management District in 10 days.
Caption
Ten invasive Burmese pythons have been captured by paid hunters working for the South Florida Water Management District in 10 days.

Credit: South Florida Water Management District

Credit: South Florida Water Management District