The state of Florida is gearing up for a massive python hunting contest in the Everglades starting on Saturday. But an animal rights group is calling for the state to ban decapitation as a method of killing the giant snakes.
Decapitation is one of three lethal methods the state has authorized in the Python Challenge. The contest, which has cash prizes, is attracting hunters from all over the U.S. to help the state fight an infestation of non-native Burmese pythons.
In South Florida, bagging some snakes could win you some money. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be cracking down on invasive pythons in South Florida in the New Year. The agency and its partners will be holding the 2013 Python Challenge to catch as many snakes as possible.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows Pythons and other big snakes are wiping out a huge number of mammals in the Everglades. Florida Public Radio’s Trimmel Gomes reports medium-sized mammals like rabbits and raccoons have all but disappeared from Everglades National Park.