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Clermont, Florida
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Pythons in the Florida Everglades


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Pythons in the Florida Everglades

Taressa George

There are an estimated 10,000 to 100,000 pythons living the the Florida Everglades, but they're not easy to find.  The South Florida Water Management District, which oversees the Everglades restoration, recently hired 25 python hunters to kill the invasive reptiles. 

According to the district, a python growing to 13 feet typically eats in five to seven years one raccoon, one possum, four 5-foot alligators, 10 squirrels, 15 rabbits, 30 cotton rats, 72 mice and about three dozen birds. Those birds include struggling wading birds also threatened by rising sea levels and lengthy delays in Everglades restoration projects.

So far, hunters have killed over 50 pythons, but there are still thousands more wiping out entire populations of native birds and animals.

WellaVerde found designer, Camille Zarsky, who is using those python skins to create hot, one-of-a-kind, handbags.  

Camille Zarsky Zip Top Python Pouch
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Having worked with non-profit environmental education programs here in Florida, I’ve learned a lot about the extensive damage that invasive, exotic species can have on our ecosystem.  So, in cases like these [the Everglades], I support Camille’s use of the python skins to make something both useful and stylish out of what might otherwise be discarded.