Feb 23, 2010 1:07 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Florida opens python hunting season

Pleased with the results of last year's python hunt, South Florida is ready to start the hunt all over again.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced a second season of python hunting will begin in March.

Licensed hunters will be allowed to stalk and kill the slithering serpents on state-managed lands around the Everglades from March 8 to April 17 under the revival of last year's snake hunt.

Some 39 pythons were captured and killed under the 2009 program, which ended in October. The FWC is hoping to eradicate some of the estimated 150,000 Burmese pythons on the loose in Florida that destroy ecosystems.

They're also hoping to get some of the Indian and African Rock pythons, as well as green anacondas and Nile monitor lizards.

It was hoped that the recent South Florida cold spell helped kill off many of the tropical snakes, but tens of thousands are likely still out there.

The FWC is holding a training session today to teach snake hunters the tricks of the trade, including how to identify, stalk, capture and kill the snakes.



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