Whacking Month in the Everglades, Python Challenge 2013

Here’s what I know about this so far:

  • It takes place in the Everglades where the nonnative Burmese Python is wrecking the ecosystem and proliferating faster than the rabbits I want to compare them to.
  • There will be two main prizes: $1000 for biggest snake and $1500 for most Burmese Pythons caught.
  • No, you cannot just cut up and sew together several snakes together to win $1000. You’d know that if you’d read the instruction manual.
  • Hundreds of people ranging from professional hunters to complete amateurs are bringing all types of weapons to this month-long extravaganza. All ages welcome!

I get the feeling that this will not go well for someone. Not for the obvious reasons like the 17 footer found months ago or the kids, pets, and large animals the snakes have taken out. No, no. The real fear didn’t hit me ’til I read through the manual which seemed both comprehensive and patronizing all at once. Behold.

Python manual

If you see a python being consumed by another swamp monster, let it go.

So, I’m already wading through the fucking murky Everglades swamp and in the back of my mind thinking about the alligators that were in no addressed in the training AND I’m looking for pythons. Big, angry grand daddy ones. I have so much trouble keeping my footing in the shower that I’m already done with this challenge, but let’s just see what the rest of the amateurs will have to deal with.

There wasn't enough to worry about.

There wasn’t enough to worry about.

There are a plethora of non native species roaming about mixed in with native snakes that are poisonous and non poisonous and I really hope the 15 seconds you guys used scrolling through the images on the PDF helps you sort em all out (especially the endangered ones). They are all brownish and look like snakes. Write that down.

Put your hand in its mouth to fish out possible other pythons.

Put your hand in its mouth to fish out possible other pythons.

I had an issue with the handling methods in the photo until I realized that the snake is probably already dead. Just so you know though, kneading is not the proper way to dispatch a python – try a gun, a machete, or a captive bolt. Just be sure to, you know, be super careful with that while you’re faffing around the Everglades with your kids.

All that to say…I will be obsessed with this story for the next month, starting January 12th. Stay tuned!

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One comment on “Whacking Month in the Everglades, Python Challenge 2013

  1. Pingback: Python Challenge 2013: Snake Jihad, Snakepocalypse Vid | Animal News, The Podcast

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