Python kill reaches 100 and beyond as time runs out
More than 100 pythons have been killed since March 25 in an experimental program to cull populations of the invasive snake in the Everglades.
The South Florida Water Management District announced the milestone this week as after the 102nd snake was recorded.
Related: See map of where hundreds of gators were caught last year in Palm Beach County
Monday night alone, four pythons were killed, including during a hunt that Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera participated in.
Alligators — like this one spotted in The Acreage in 2011 — tend to hunt opportunistically, not aggressively, said David Hitzig of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter. They rarely attack the same prey. That’s what makes the two-gator attack at Disney World in June that killed a 2-year-old boy so rare. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)
The program, which pays hunters minimum wage plus bonuses based on snake length, is scheduled to end June 1 unless the water management district’s board agrees to extend it.
So far, 102 pythons measuring a combined length of more than 930 feet, the equivalent of more than two and a half football fields, have been eliminated from the Everglades by SFWMD python hunters. That is an average of nearly two snakes killed per day.
At least 40 percent of the snakes eliminated have been females, many found with 30 to 80 eggs inside that were also destroyed. This prevented the birth of more than 1,500 more of the invasive predators this year alone.
Kyle Penniston, of Homestead, captured the milestone 100th snake, a 4-foot-long python killed on the banks of the C-111 Canal in South Miami-Dade County. Penniston has killed more than 20 pythons in the last three years.
Hunter Kyle Penniston caught the 100th python. Courtesy South Florida Water Management District
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