Army of python bounty hunters drafted in to fight Florida snake invasion

Army of python bounty hunters drafted in to fight Florida snake invasion

Army of python bounty hunters drafted in to fight Florida snake invasion

The South Florida Water Management District may have a new gig for you as one of 25 snake hunters that will help rid - or at least manage - the invasive Burmese Python population that has been wreaking havoc on the local ecosystem for years and turning up in some unusual places.

Conservation biologist Joe Wasilewski told WPLG that the pythons "are literally eating their way through the Everglades of our native wildlife".

For example, Biscayne National Park recently reported a 9-foot Burmese Python sunning itself on an offshore platform two to four football fields away from land. He has worked closely with the state to try and control the invasive species for a decade.

Hunters are restricted to designated South Florida Water Management District land in Miami-Dade County.

This effort would be very different than the python challenge which puts a bounty on the snakes.

Until now, the fight in Miami-Dade County has been fought by amateur hunters.

Participants are allowed to use firearms to remove pythons, said South Florida Water Management District.

"This is a much bigger problem then I think most people realize".

While he admits eradicating the snake from the Everglades is not realistic, he believes paid professionals can make a big difference.

"We're going to leave it open to pretty broad areas where python challenge participants in the past have not been able to get to", Feeney says.

Anyone lucky enough to get this awesome job will be given access to python-infested lands, a minimum wage salary, and $50 for every snake killed.

On top of the hourly rate, you'll get paid starting at $50 per snake 4 feet or shorter. Hunters can score another $100 for each python taken out that was found guarding a nest full of eggs.

"Everyone is welcome to apply to become a participant by completing and submitting an application found on the website", officials added.

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