Snake fan hunts pythons in Florida to save other critters

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IN THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES (AP) – Florida is paying $8.10 an hour to hunt invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

But hunter and snake fan Brian Hargrove says he’d work for free. He has to kill the snakes he finds, but it’s for a good cause: to save all the deer, rabbits and raccoons that used to be common in the wetlands – animals almost entirely eaten up by pythons.

Hargrove is one of 25 hunters selected to kill pythons through June 1 for the South Florida Water Management District, the state agency overseeing Everglades restoration. As of Tuesday, 50 pythons have been killed by the hunters.

Florida’s wildlife commission also has announced new prizes and plans to hire additional contractors to boost python removals from state-managed lands.

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