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Florida Officials Want Residents To Eat Pythons

Florida Officials Want Residents To Eat Snakes

In an effort to cull its Burmese python population, Florida officials want residents to start eating them.

The idea is being closely evaluated by the state’s wildlife conservation commission and department of health. They are looking into the levels of Mercury in pythons and from there they will explore the possibility of issuing advisories on safely eating the Everglades scourge.

Last year, Florida governor Ron DeSantis declared war on the python. DeSantis hosted a Python hunting competition last November, called the “Python Bowl.” Possibly the most interactive initiative to help eradicate the invasive Burmese pythons.

Pythons have been a scathing issue for Floridians for quite some time. The Guardian published an in-depth article, chronicling how Pythons were becoming a dangerous epidemic in Florida. The Guardian warned: “There are tens of thousands of pythons in the Florida wild, attacking animals and damaging ecosystems – and the quest to stop them has become a collective crusade.”

The efforts to eradicate pythons in Florida have become a large operation. Eric Sutton, director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission revealed the upcoming plan to follow through on the governor’s declaration of war on pythons. Sutton promised to hire more python hunters, hunters, investing in near-infrared technology to better see the snakes, and training python-sniffing dogs. Sutton also looked to the South Florida Water Management District, to begin doing mercury testing on python meat similar to the testing done for fish.

Florida officials calling for folks to seek, destroy, and then eat these pythons will surely run into some challenges. A decade-old study found Everglades National Park revealed pythons carry an alarming amount of mercury, a neurotoxin that can impair brain functioning and damage the reproductive system. U.S. Geological Survey research Scientist David Krabbenhoft found came to a similar conclusion when the pythons he tested had up to 3.5 parts per million of mercury. “We were not used to seeing numbers like that,” Krabbenhoft said. “These guys are just loaded with mercury.”

Obvious health concerns could doom the plan to encourage Floridians to eat pythons, but getting to the point of encouraging residents to eat the apex predators, proves Florida’s war on pythons has reached dire straits.

©2019 by URBAN NEWS