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Clermont, Florida
United States

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Filtering by Tag: pythons

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.

Pythons Overrunning The Florida Everglades

Taressa George

The Florida Everglades is rapidly becoming overrun with Burmese Pythons. Estimated numbers of these snakes in the Everglades range from 5,000 to over 100,000 and is rapidly growing. Since there are no known natural predators for these snakes, the challenge is on to prevent them from spreading. The Nature Conservancy in Florida launched a Python Patrol in 2008 of over 400 trained responders who can safely and humanely capture and remove these and other constricting snakes. Since 2002, over 2000 of them have been removed. Products made from these predators range from shoes, clothes and handbags to "Everglades Pizzas" made with python meat.

Do you know of any tanneries in Florida who can help make use of the pythons?  What do you suggest the State of Florida do to solve this ecological problem and prevent it from continuing?