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Fighting Back Against Invasive Burmese Pythons

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Originally from the jungles and marshes of South East Asia, there is currently an estimated 100,000 Burmese Python in the Florida everglades. Burmese pythons have taken out nearly 98% of Florida’s mammals, but this team of women is fighting back.

TRANSCRIPT

- [Narrator] The Burmese python.

Originally from the jungles and marshes of South East Asia, A staggering 100,000 of these invasive reptiles are now estimated to be thriving in the Everglades.

With few natural predators, these invaders are almost unstoppable.

But people are fighting back.

- [Donna] Burmese pythons came here in the 70s from the pet trade.

People didn't know what to do with them, so they came out here and let them go.

- [Narrator] Licensed python hunting is now permitted in the Everglades year-round.

- They've been eating their way through the Everglades National Park.

Literally, 98% of the mammals have been eaten by these Burmese pythons.

They're eating deer, they're eating alligators.

We brought them here, we need to take them out and that's what I'm here to do.

- [Narrator] Paid contractors patrol the levees around the Everglades day and night.

Female pythons can lay over a hundred eggs a year and grow to be more than 18 feet long.

- [Woman] Stop!

Stop for a second!

- [Donna] Grabbing a big constrictor like that is an experience.

You definitely have to go in, grab it with both hands, make sure you know what you're doing.

You don't want it to wrap around your neck.

They can kill you.

(hissing) - [Narrator] In the first two years of the removal program, 25 teams took out almost 2,000 adult snakes.

But there's much more to be done.

- [Donna] The war that we're fight is bigger than the battle that we're winning.

You're not doing your pet a favor by letting them go.

You think, you know, 'Here, be free!

Have fun.'

It doesn't work that way.

- [Narrator] Once captured, the pythons have to be humanely destroyed.

(crickets chirping)

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