Burmese python hunt kicks off on Saturday
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Dangerous snakes are somehow making their way to South Florida, and for a group of hunters this weekend, they are prized pythons.
Burmese python snakes are native to Asia but are now found in Florida. "We don't want them here, so we are trying to do what we can to try to control this population," said Florida Fish and Wildlife officer Jorge Pino.
Burmese pythons do not belong in South Florida's ecosystem. Starting this weekend, people will be hunting them to protect our environment. "They are eating native birds, eggs. They don't have a natural predator out there," said Pino.
The python kickoff starts this Saturday to help protect our ecosystem. Hunters will search for hours in wooded areas for the pythons. Pino said there are two ways to deal with these snakes. "One is to shoot them and the second one is to use a very sharp machete and cut the head off," he said.
The hunt will help in the research to "try to develop a good understanding of what these pythons like, what kind of diet they have," said Pino, "where they congregate and what they're doing out there in the Everglades."
Officials will hand out a prize for whoever catches the largest python. "If you bring in the largest python, you will get $1,000," said Pino. "If you bring in the most pythons you will get $1,500."
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