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The Everglades ecological system will never be the same.

I wonder what will things be like in 5 years from now? How about 10 or 15 years from now? What will be the long term effect?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:42pm PST
A 16-plus-foot Burmese Python taken by hunters in Florida Everglades
By: David Strege
A 16-foot, 8-inch, 130-pound Burmese Python was captured by two "python hunters" in the Florida Everglades, and it took both men to wrestle the exotic snake out of its hole. "I freaked out when I saw it," Ruben Ramirez told WSVN 7 News. "It was like the movie 'Anaconda.' That's how big it was." Indeed, it was far bigger than the 6- to 10-foot pythons Ramirez and George Brana are used to dealing with in the Everglades. WSVN has the report with video from one of the hunter's helmet camera:
According to the Everglades National Park, more than 1,800 pythons have been removed from the park and surrounding areas since 2002, and that reflects but a fraction of the total population.

The unwanted invaders most likely originated in the Everglades when people who kept them as pets decided to get rid of them when they got too big to care for. Now, officials are trying to control, if not eradicate the pythons, which are finding the Everglades a hospitable place to breed.

Usually, they're not as big as this one, which was just shy of the Florida record of 17 feet, 7 inches and 130 pounds.

This python was spotted on a canal bank. Ramirez tried stopping the snake from escaping into its hole but couldn't put the brakes on. When the other hunter arrived, Ramirez was holding only three feet of the tail. It wasn't until both began pulling that they were able to subdue the python.

So, what, exactly, do python hunters do with the snakes? Permit holders are allowed to sell the hide and meat. We can only presume they taste like chicken, but please don't bother trying to find out. Florida Fish and Wildlife doesn't recommend eating them since they have been found to have high mercury levels.
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."


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