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Florida's 'Python Challenge' draws adrenaline junkies, eco-warriors
Fox News ^ | January 10, 2013 | Perry Chiaramonte

Posted on 01/12/2013 4:07:33 PM PST by george76

The chance to traipse through Florida's Everglades in search of wild pythons up to 15 feet long has attracted nearly 700 thrill-seekers from throughout the county.

The Sunshine State is offering cash prizes in the month-long “Python Challenge,” which begins tomorrow and is aimed at helping to control the exploding population of the non-native Burmese pythons, which have devastated Florida's eco-system. Anyone is eligible for the hunt

...

cash prizes of up to $1,500 will be given to hunters who catch the largest and most pythons. The pythons that have nearly eradicated entire native species such as deer, bobcats and rabbits are believed to be traceable to abandoned pets and pythons released from a breeding facility destroyed during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that as many as 100,000 exist in the Everglades. Although the snakes are not venomous, experts say they could potentially pose a deadly threat to small children. They kill by squeezing, then swallowing, their prey.

“Aside from the obvious goal of reducing the Burmese python population in the Everglades, we also hope to educate the public about Burmese pythons in Florida and how people can help limit the impact of this and other invasive species in Florida,” Segelson said. “We are also using the Challenge to gauge the effectiveness of using an incentive-based model as one tool to address a challenging invasive species management problem."

The online tutorial recommends that hunters use machetes to decapitate their quarry, or dispatch them with bullets.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Outdoors; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: ar; burmesepython; burmesepythons; everglades; florida; invasivespecies; peta; python; pythons
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1 posted on 01/12/2013 4:07:44 PM PST by george76
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To: george76

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we don’t seem to have any of them up in the panhandle.

It would be nice to kill the largest one and get $1500 to boot.


2 posted on 01/12/2013 4:14:29 PM PST by yarddog (One shot one miss.)
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To: yarddog
kill the largest one and get $1500 to boot

I think the largest is going to make more than one boot... ;-)

3 posted on 01/12/2013 4:21:37 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Salamander

*ping of interest*


4 posted on 01/12/2013 4:23:00 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: yarddog
"Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we don’t seem to have any of them up in the panhandle."

If it's invasive species you're after you can always come over to Louisiana and play in the Nutria Control Program. Governor Jindal will pay you $5 x tail, plus you might find other buyers for the fur and meat. In 2011-12 the program paid out about $1.7M, so I don't know why you'd want to play around trying to score $1500 for a python :-)

5 posted on 01/12/2013 4:30:36 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Because while you hunt the python the python hunts you.

Keeps it interesting.


6 posted on 01/12/2013 4:35:13 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Those Nutria’s run 100 times faster than a slithering python. Therefore lot of wasted bullets for the nutria vs. 1 good aimed shot to kill the python.


7 posted on 01/12/2013 4:42:31 PM PST by entropy12 (The republic is doomed when people figure out they can get free stuff by voting democrats)
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To: george76

I do have one Python I am very partial to.

It’s stainless, and with a 125 grain JHP ‘barks’ very nicely.


8 posted on 01/12/2013 4:43:49 PM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: Salamander

Can I borrow Eva Marie for a few days?


9 posted on 01/12/2013 4:45:45 PM PST by 50mm (Trust nobody and you'll never be disappointed.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Drunk crackers with guns chasing snakes through swamps?

What could possibly go wrong?

;D

[I say ship up ‘em all up to Nutria World and let nature take its course]

The pros on Python Hunters have a rip of a time locating them.

I can’t imagine this is going to be a rousing success...and lots of native snakes are going to get accidentally whacked.

Unseasonable cold snaps have been steadily killing them off, either outright or via respiratory infections, anyway.

The Burms just aren’t built for even the warmest parts of FL.

They’re tropical snakes.

The native gators have been feasting on them happily, though.


10 posted on 01/12/2013 4:49:11 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: jazusamo; Flycatcher; GladesGuru; girlangler; tubebender; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp; LucyT; NVDave; ..

PETA is not happy


11 posted on 01/12/2013 4:50:59 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: yarddog

And you never will.

They’re barely able to survive the ‘cold’ of the glades.

It cracks me up that people in the northeast are terrified that they’re going to be invaded by Burms.

My snakes are in climate controlled containers and when the electricity goes off, I’m in a blind panic to keep them warm until it comes back on.

A few hours below their necessary 90 degree temps will give them respiratory infections.


12 posted on 01/12/2013 4:52:57 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: 50mm

For what?

/looks at 50mm with narrowed eyes


13 posted on 01/12/2013 4:55:25 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Salamander

100,000 in the Everglades doesn’t sound like they are exactly going extinct. ;-)


14 posted on 01/12/2013 4:56:35 PM PST by Average Al
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To: Salamander

I am not so sure.

South Florida has crocodiles which are generally found only in very warm climates.


15 posted on 01/12/2013 4:58:15 PM PST by yarddog (One shot one miss.)
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To: Salamander

Bravo python hunters, git r done.


16 posted on 01/12/2013 4:58:37 PM PST by bicyclerepair ( >-> Zombies eat brains. >-> 50% of FL is safe.)
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To: george76
PETA is not happy

LOL! You just made my day.

It's too bad FL doesn't put a bounty on the Burms and then make it legal for the hunters to sell the skins to makers of boots, belts, purses, etc. Put some profit in it for the hunter and they'll make a real dent in that invasive species population.

That would really upset the PETA freaks. :)

17 posted on 01/12/2013 5:03:14 PM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: Salamander
...and lots of native snakes are going to get accidentally whacked.

The only good snake is a dead snake.

"I hate snakes!"

18 posted on 01/12/2013 5:03:14 PM PST by EternalVigilance (I used to be a Republican until they became the Republican'ts when it comes to republicanism. .)
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To: Salamander
For what?

I'm taking a vacation to Flo North Dakota and could use some help with the driving. She'll be safe with me. >:)

19 posted on 01/12/2013 5:05:24 PM PST by 50mm (Trust nobody and you'll never be disappointed.)
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To: jazusamo

Just put a decent bounty on ‘em and they won’t last long.


20 posted on 01/12/2013 5:06:50 PM PST by EternalVigilance (I used to be a Republican until they became the Republican'ts when it comes to republicanism. .)
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To: Salamander
"Drunk crackers with guns chasing snakes through swamps? What could possibly go wrong?"

In Louisiana we call that a "lifestyle choice."

21 posted on 01/12/2013 5:08:15 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: EternalVigilance

I agree, but a decent bounty could get expensive for Fl with the numbers of them.


22 posted on 01/12/2013 5:13:16 PM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: Salamander
I'll bring you back a souvenir.


23 posted on 01/12/2013 5:14:33 PM PST by 50mm (Trust nobody and you'll never be disappointed.)
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To: 50mm
I asked Eva and she said "Pfffffflllllbt!"

Bella, however, is agreeable as long as you let her ride shotgun.


24 posted on 01/12/2013 5:18:01 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: yarddog

Crocs are a lot tougher than Burms.


25 posted on 01/12/2013 5:18:53 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Average Al

That number is bogus.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/24/us-usa-pythons-everglades-idUSTRE81N24120120224


26 posted on 01/12/2013 5:28:52 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: george76

“PETA is not happy”

Oh, that’s novel.

They’re only happy when they’re killing old ladies’ dogs.


27 posted on 01/12/2013 5:30:44 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: george76

Another invasive species down here in Florida is the Lionfish. They are eating the other fish species on the coral reefs. Fortunately they taste very good and everyone here is encourage to spearfish them. No limits of any kind.


28 posted on 01/12/2013 5:32:26 PM PST by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: EternalVigilance

” The only good snake is a dead snake.”

And I’m supposed to feel bad for not being scared of them?

Fat chance.


29 posted on 01/12/2013 5:32:40 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

I don’t like the thought of dead ‘hunters’.


30 posted on 01/12/2013 5:34:35 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: 50mm

They need to be red to match my vest.

[wish I could afford ‘em]


31 posted on 01/12/2013 5:35:46 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: george76
That reminds me. Think I'll have bacon for breakfast tomorrow.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

32 posted on 01/12/2013 5:50:07 PM PST by vox_freedom (America is being tested as never before in its history. May God help us.)
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To: Salamander

33 posted on 01/12/2013 6:05:29 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Salamander

If I spot a snake a good distance from me, they don’t bother me. It is when I almost step on one before I see it that they startle the heck out of me.


34 posted on 01/12/2013 6:17:53 PM PST by yarddog (One shot one miss.)
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To: george76

I’ve always wondered how you aim for the center of mass on a snake.


35 posted on 01/12/2013 8:16:09 PM PST by Hardastarboard (The Liberal ruling class hates me. The feeling is mutual.)
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To: PJ-Comix
"lionfish"

No limits, but don't try to handle them. Nasty little buggers with venom that can kill kids and make adults very sick.

36 posted on 01/13/2013 4:55:39 AM PST by driftless2
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Ironic update:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid836881585001?bckey=AQ%7E%7E%2CAAAAPmbRNRk%7E%2CeMJgSV_RKKdQQ0LxUSni2YJuJke-LF5t&bclid=1160416625001&bctid=2090374108001

With all those hunters, they found a juvenile red rat snake.

*One*.

One snake.

That was not a Burm.

The last lines of the report are the giveaway.

Freezing weather = dead Burms.

“Nobody needs a snake that big.”
“Nobody needs that many bullets.”

Think about it.


37 posted on 01/14/2013 11:11:16 AM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: driftdiver

That photo’s been debunked forever but I really enjoy this guy’s pithy take on it:


As explained on the earlier threads, this story is not as it seems.

1. Pythons are constrictors and this one certainly constricted such a large animal before attempting to swallow it. Therefore the alligator was dead and couldn’t have clawed its way anywhere. Alligators are practically clawless anyway.

2. The python’s head had been chopped off.

3. The simple expanation of this story is thus:

a. Python constricts and swallows Alligator, just as Anacondas do to Caiman everyday in South America.

b. Redneck fisherman sees python in water, easy to club and kill because of the alligator in its belly.

c. Redneck fishman cuts python’s head off for souvenier, naturally cuts open snake’s belly to see what it had swallowed. Curiosity satisfied, redneck throws headless python with protruding alligator back into water.

d. Photographer sees dead python and photographs. Ignorant press concoct ridiculous story about python swallowing live alligator and exploding.

e. mystery solved, end of story Bigger mystery: why are people believing something so stupid?


:)


38 posted on 01/14/2013 11:19:13 AM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: yarddog

Well, yeah...LOL


39 posted on 01/14/2013 11:20:13 AM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: driftdiver

What in the heck is that a picture of please?


40 posted on 01/14/2013 11:23:08 AM PST by MomwithHope (Buy and read Ameritopia by Mark Levin!)
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To: MomwithHope

It’s *not* a Burmese Python that swallowed a gator and then “blew up”.

See post #38, above.


41 posted on 01/14/2013 11:31:59 AM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Salamander; MomwithHope

There are plenty of videos of alligator - python interaction on youtube.

As to the fragility of pythons perhaps you can explain the rapid growth of pythons in the Everglades and the lack of small native wildlife.

In some areas the native wildlife (birds, racoons, rabbits, squirrels, etc) has been eliminated.


42 posted on 01/14/2013 12:05:45 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

The people who actually work in the park dispute those numbers.

Has no one considered that the same abnormal freezes killing the snakes is affecting everything else, as well?

The Everglades are being squeezed by human encroachment.

There’s a *lot* of building going on right on top of it.


43 posted on 01/14/2013 2:17:21 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Salamander
Has no one considered that the same abnormal freezes killing the snakes is affecting everything else, as well?

Birds, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels? No, they can take a cold snap with no problem.

44 posted on 01/14/2013 2:43:03 PM PST by eartrumpet
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To: driftdiver

In case you missed the link I posted previously featuring the words of those who work most closely with the glades:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/24/us-usa-pythons-everglades-idUSTRE81N24120120224

As in so many bogus crises, there is massive politics and fear mongering going on.

Feral cats are far more devastating to ecosystems *everywhere* than these isolated Burms could *ever* be yet everyone would rise as one in indignant protest if they declared a National Cat Killing Month.

It is only because these are not cute, furry, doe-eyed mammals that this can be an issue.

Feral hogs are destroying the ecosystems all over the US.

I don’t see any federal laws being passed on them.

I see this issue like others see gun control.

*I* may not want an arsenal of 100 round ‘assault rifles’ myself but I support the rights of others to have them, if they choose to.

We’ve seen ‘breed ban legislation’ quietly slide from today’s most vicious breed to the next breed down the list and I guarantee, the list will keep getting longer until HSUS and PETA get their way and all pets will be outlawed.

*That* is the overwhelming issue, here.

Look at what is -behind- and -beneath- this tempest in a teapot.

It’s not about some wild snakes.

It’s about regulating domesticated animals/pets.

Their brilliance is in picking something ‘scary’ that most people will cheerfully support banning....kinda like ‘scary black guns’.


45 posted on 01/14/2013 2:48:22 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: driftdiver; george76

“PETA is not happy”

You’re only half right.

They are not concerned that the snakes are being killed.
They are concerned about the *method* of killing, as they should be.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/cerabino-states-python-hunt-can-make-strange-bedfe/nTsRD/

Cutting the head off does not kill the animal.

It can and will suffer for quite a long time after decapitation.

PETA is happy to see animals killed, as always.


46 posted on 01/14/2013 2:54:13 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Salamander

There’s nothing in your link referring to “breed ban legislation”. The Python Challenge has nothing to do with domestic Pythons.


47 posted on 01/14/2013 2:55:44 PM PST by saleman (!!!!)
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To: eartrumpet

You keep watching this hand while I pull a rabbit out of a hat with the other:

http://www.nps.gov/ever/historyculture/developeverglades.htm

http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/PageServer?pagename=can_results_everglades_protection

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1995-01-21/news/9501200730_1_everglades-tree-islands-high-water

http://www.everglades.org/2012/03/stop-urban-growth-on-the-edge-of-floridas-everglades/

Let’s not look at what people are doing [very profitably] to the Everglades.

Let’s designate a scapegoat.

Bet the building continues long after the evil snakes have died off.


48 posted on 01/14/2013 3:02:27 PM PST by Salamander (This is my tagline. There are many others like it but this one is mine.)
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To: saleman

“but allowing hunters to decapitate pythons—who remain alive and in agony and who will writhe for an hour even after their heads have been cut off—is despicably cruel,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said....”

Oh, BTW. Ms Newkirk is an idiot.


49 posted on 01/14/2013 3:08:31 PM PST by saleman (!!!!)
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To: Salamander

I only mentioned your flawed theory on abnormal freezes hurting the warm blooded critters. Never said a thing about over-development.


50 posted on 01/14/2013 3:09:52 PM PST by eartrumpet
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