It looks like the South Florida Water Management District’s Python Elimination Program is off to a great start after 10 Burmese pythons were eliminated in 10 days. With a combined length of almost 100 feet for all of the captured pythons, the hunters received almost $2,000 in cash for their hard work.
Participants earn $8.10 per hour up to eight hours each day. Snakes 4-feet and under earn hunters $50 with an extra $25 for every foot after that. Any python nests that are found and destroyed destroyed will earn them an additional $100.
The largest of those snakes was caught by Patrick Campbell, who found a 15-foot, 10-inch python on April 2. He received $350 for the 135-pound monster.
“For these hunters to have already eliminated 10 snakes is tremendous, given the fact that simply locating the elusive python is literally like finding a moving, camouflaged needle in a haystack,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O’Keefe. “It’s great to see that this Governing Board’s action to challenge this invasive and destructive predator has yielded early results.”
Although Campbell may have caught the biggest snake, it was Barry Offenburger who caught the most out of anyone so far. He killed three in his first week. His kills got him $550 and included pythons coming in at 13-foot, 8-foot-2-inches and 6-foot-8-inches.
The program runs until June, so if this keeps up, hopefully we can see a dent put into the population of the invasive species and a possible extension so they can continue their efforts.