SOUTH FLORIDA — The invasive python problem in Florida is getting out of hand, leading the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to call in a couple ringers to get the job done.
Between 2002-2012, more than 2000 Burmese pythons were pulled out of the Everglades, but at the rate they breed, that number has skyrocketed since then. As part of a series of “unique projects” commissioned by the FWC, two snake wranglers from India have been flown in to take a crack at the massive snake problem.
Masi Sadaiyan and Vadivel Gopal are members of the Irula tribe, having made their living by catching rats and snakes back home. With the help of some python-detecting labrador retrievers, the duo will be working to catch as many snakes as possible over a two-month span. So far, they have done an expert job of seeking out the slithery serpents, capturing 15 pythons in their first two weeks on the prowl, the largest a 16-foot female.
An invasive species, Burmese pythons have been wreaking havoc on South Florida’s ecosystem for roughly three decades, killing and competing with native species. If the Irula tribesman can put a dent in Florida’s python population, estimated at roughly 5,000-10,000 today, maybe you’ll see a few more Indian snake hunters walking around the Everglades, and a lot less snakes.