Florida, The southernmost city of United States Of America is famous for its beaches and for the Walt Disney World Resort. But recently Florida is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Florida has become the home for the Burmese Python. The Python spotted in South east Asia is now found in Florida in huge numbers.
Burmese Python is the third largest snake in the world by length or weight. Experts claim that Florida may be home to over 5,000 to 10,000 Burmese Pythons. The Python was first spotted in the 1980’s in the Everglades National Park. Due to lack of control the number grew and by the year 2000 they earned the “Reproducing Population” tag. The alarming number of python’s in the state has woken up the department.
The latest measure is using Indian Snake Catchers.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has hired two Indian Snake catchers to help. The Snake catchers Masi Sadaiyan and Vadivel Gopal belong to the Tamil Irula Community. The Irula Community’s main occupation has always been Snake and Rat Catching. The two men work with two translators, two University of Florida Biologists and two python detecting Labradors. Their main job is to find, capture and kill the pythons. They have even managed to capture 13 snakes in under two weeks.
The commission spent about $68,000 for the two snake catcher and their interpreters and fly them to Florida. The team is currently working near Key Largo, an area which until last year believed to be free of Pythons.
The presence of Pythons is worrisome for the public as well as for the wildlife. The number of sightings of the Python have increased exponentially. Also, native animals such as Deer, Rabbits and Alligators are disappearing at alarming rate.
The hiring of Indian Snake Catchers is a good measure but with the number of snakes estimated, Florida will need a plane full of Irula Community people to tackle the situation.