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Florida’s growing invasive python problem, and what the state is doing about it

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In recent years, the Sunshine State has seen a sharp rise in Burmese pythons as a result of snake owners abandoning and releasing their pets into the wild, where they have been reproducing and making their way into the Florida ecosystem.

The non-native snakes are beginning to cause a problem for the natural state of things in Florida. A tourist park in the Everglades, Everglades Holiday Park, features an entire page on its website advising tourists of the dangers of the large reptiles. “The Florida Everglades have been dealing with the growing threat of invasive species like Burmese pythons for some time now,” the site reads. “The pythons are taking over the land and ultimately killing so many of the native species. This growing problem is of major concern for the preservation efforts of the historic wetlands.”

Last year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission removed 231 of the invasive snakes from areas in south Florida. The state-run organization awarded a top prize of $10,000 to the person who managed to remove the most pythons. The winner removed 28 snakes. 

The South Florida Water Management District is also taking action to remove the creatures from the area. The Python Elimination Program provides residents with the tools to capture the pythons, and “ incentivizes a limited number of public-spirited individuals to humanely euthanize these destructive snakes.”

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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