FL Hunters Battle Python Invasion | PICS + VIDEO

Janine Puhak, Fox News – The state of Florida refuses to let the infestation of Burmese pythons slither out of its grip, and has hired a select team of 25 hunters to deal with the issue.

And apparently the effort is paying off.

On Tuesday, they celebrated the 1,000th python capture in a little over a year — an 11-foot-two-inch male snake.

The non-native, giant constrictor snakes have eliminated 99 percent of the Everglades’ indigenous mammals.

Burmese pythons have been abandoned in the Everglades by owners for decades, resulting in an unanticipated population boom.

Initially restricted to Miami-Dade County, the hunt has been expanded into Broward and Collier counties.

“We’ve removed potentially tens of thousands, if you consider their reproductive abilities,” Mike Kirkland, SFWMD project manager, told AP. “The more they eat, the bigger they get.”

See video at Fox News

Hunters have brought in everything from 14-inch hatchlings up to adults nearly 18 feet long. Read more. 

Having wiped out up to 99% of wild mammals in the Everglades, what will pythons eat next? 

Giant python kills, swallows whole 25-year-old man

Orlando Sentinel – A 23-foot python in Indonesia has swallowed and killed a 25-year-old man, according to local media.

The giant snake’s victim was a man named Akbar, who went missing Monday night, according to TribunSulbar.com.

Gators have put pythons on the menu (no word on whether they taste like chicken.) NPS Photo.

“… Akbar departs from his home at around 7 a.m, heading for its oil palm plantations [bringing] harvesting equipment,” Salubiro village secretary Junaidi told TribunSulbar.com on Tuesday. Snake Catcher Reveals Nasty Injuries from Python

“People here have heard people screaming around 1 p.m.,” Junaidi said, adding that the people thought the sounds came from pig hunters so they ignored the noises.

After Akbar failed to return home, a search began for the missing man and that’s when the giant 7-meter reticulated python was spotted on the edge of a garden belonging to the victim around 10 p.m.

According to the media report Akbar was “clearly visible” in the snake’s belly.

The snake was cut open and Akbar’s body was recovered. Read more. 

Barry Offenburger made one of the largest catches — this 16-foot, 8-inch female that checks in as the fourth-longest snake caught as part of the program. South Florida Water Management District, CC BY-ND 2.0