Commentary: Python hunting should be left to pros

July 17, 2009 

How much would you pay to go python hunting in the Everglades? OK, never mind. How much would you pay not to go python hunting in the Everglades?

Now that we've cleared that up, let's make something else clear: Pythons are a growing menace to the well-being of South Florida's most significant ecosystem. Biologists say their numbers have grown to 100,000 within the Everglades in just a few years.

This explosive growth must be brought under control. A python is a top-of-the-food-chain killer, an imported predator that can destroy native wildlife, from alligators to deer to small critters.

The risk to human visitors is obvious. Sen. Bill Nelson, who wants the Department of the Interior to manage a hunt by "deputized" agents who know what they're doing, believes it's only a matter of time before a tourist falls victim to a python.

We are happy to note that both the state and federal governments are actively promoting efforts to track and kill pythons. But, please, folks: Let's leave this dangerous business to trained, experienced snake hunters.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.

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