PYTHONS ON THE MOVE
With cold weather moving in more pythons are likely to come out of their hiding places and find sunny spots to bask. There are fewer than 300 people licensed to hunt and transport pythons in Florida. Soon, potential death-dealing snakes will slither out of their dens and no doubt come into contact with people. They’re hard to kill because they have tiny brains and running them over with a car or truck usually doesn’t work. A shotgun is the preferred method.
Breeding populations exist in the Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Collier-Seminole State Park in Collier County. They’ve been considered an established species by Florida since 2000 and in 2010 Florida officials made it illegal to own, sell or transport a live Burmese python without a permit. People who owned this particular species before the law are allowed to keep that particular animal.
When pythons reach 12 feet long they can eat just about anything. When people who aren’t trained try and catch them they often get bitten. Pythons have teeth that curve backwards and they don’t let go easily. If you see one it’s best to call in an expert. They’re dangerous and mysterious at the same time. Fascinating stuff.