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The Almighty Buck Science

Money Python: Florida Contest Offers Rewards In 2013 Everglades Python Hunt 132

Press2ToContinue writes "Dubbed the Python Challenge, the month-long contest will award $1,000 for the longest python and $1,500 for the most pythons caught between Jan. 12 and Feb. 10 in any of four hunting areas north of Everglades National Park and at the Big Cypress National Preserve. Pythons have been spreading through the Everglades for years, posing a threat to the sensitive ecosystem by preying on native species. Some estimates put their number in the tens of thousands. Last year, 272 pythons were removed from the wild, state figures show."
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Money Python: Florida Contest Offers Rewards In 2013 Everglades Python Hunt

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Looks like they're off to meet their makes.

    • by flyneye ( 84093 )

      They're making a flying circus of the whole affair.
      Perhaps it would be wise to involve some mens footwear companies both for recycling and my affinity for gaudy expensive boots.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!

  • Cobra effect (Score:5, Informative)

    by andy1307 ( 656570 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @04:53PM (#42236157)
    Florida should read about the Cobra effect [].
    • It seems like all the British rulers needed to do was instead of instantly scrapping the dead cobra reward, was put the word out that it was being scrapped in whatever duration of time it takes to rear a cobra from hatchling to redeemable size, that way all the remaining cobras being bred would be eventually "redeemed", and no new cobras would be bred, since it would be pointless.

      Just sayin' - I realise this isn't the point of the parable.

      • by icebike ( 68054 )

        Well, even that probably wouldn't work in this case. Its a different situation.
        Its a national park, where access is pretty difficult in most places, and you don't have a large local resident population in the park to clandestinely breed snakes.

        Further, I suspect you could check hunters into the park, and out again, so you would know they entered with no snakes.

        With a population estimated in tens of thousands, and a catch of only 272, the snake population is already out of control, and you might as well fig

        • The only ones I've heard of that succeeded involved islands of limited size and land-born species. (No flyers or strong swimmers.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bounties don't always fail; according to my grandfather there used to be all kinds of rattle snake dens, but a bounty on rattlesnakes earlier in the century essentially wiped them out. I think the trick was that the bounties were handled at the township level, and thus it ended up being mostly locals hunting snakes part-time or on weekends. Some random asshat walking in every day with a truckload of snakes would have been figured out pretty quick Plus the local farmers wanted the things dead to make the

    • by rickkw ( 920898 )
      Not if only the the winner of catching the most, or the longest is awarded. No one is going to breed these pythons and release them to the wild just to have a chance to win $1500. Captive breeding is not an option because these pythons have to eat too, and will probably cost more than the award to raise them.
    • Is that where you can't hit anything if you're firing the red lasers?

    • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

      I've got a possible solution to that.....

      Does Python taste good? I love alligator and rattlesnake meat. If you turned it into a business, and had meat packing plants shipping it cross country, there is a whole new industry.

      You would have people attempting to grow them, but that takes awhile. Considering that, you would still have enterprising people searching the wild for them. Or as another poster referred to them, "The Hicks".

      • I think they eat pythons in foreign countries, and I've heard that rattlesnakes taste pretty good. But it's like everything else. Tastes like chicken.

      • It actually does taste pretty good, but I think the large ones would be very tough. You can by meat from smaller pythons in one of the larger 'gourmet' supermarket chains in my area and I've tried it. Not quite the same as rattlesnake; I'd say the latter has a bit sweeter meat, but both are tasty. Then again the store bought python was probably bred and the rattlesnake I've had was wild so maybe it's unfair to compare the taste.

        • Yes, snake is good.

          But... there is an issue of mercury poisoning... apparently what they've measured in larger top level predators like the snakes, gators, etc. in the Everglades is 3x the amount they deem "safe once in a while" for ocean caught/raised/farmed fish.

      • Does Python taste good?

        It generally tastes much better if you add a lot of mint leaves while cooking it.

        Hence the name, "Minty Python".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They should just put a bounty on the snakes like they used to do for wolves and mountain lions. $10 for each snake brought in would make an industry out of killing them. If we can drive species to extinction for profit surely we can eliminate these snakes. Make=ing it legal to sell snake meat would help too.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:12PM (#42236343)

      Making it legal to sell snake meat would help too.

      Yeah, but before you chow down on some snake, read the Florida Fish and Wildlife site: []

      "Permit holders may sell the hide and meat, thus providing a type of compensation (note: Burmese pythons from Everglades National Park have been found to have very high levels of mercury and may not be recommended for human consumption)."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yeah, introduce a bounty so that people can start breeding them for profit...

      • by khasim ( 1285 )

        And then tax the python farms. You're a genius!

      • by RogL ( 608926 )

        Yeah, introduce a bounty so that people can start breeding them for profit...

        Set a bounty low enough it's not worth breeding snakes to collect it.
        But it's enough to cover your ammo / lunch / beer costs for a day in the swamp shooting.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nope, won't work. People will start breeding them instead because that is more profitable than hunting.
      Also those people will have an incentive NOT to solve the problem to keep the money flowing. Guess what the result of that will be.

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      But then you get people laying down all sorts of traps that kill everything and not just the pythons. Anything that is killed and isn't a python is just tossed away.

      Seems a humane way would be to place down thousands of trapboxes with live webcams, and have some image recognition software to recognise python patterns or just have a "something interesting" button.

    • Did you not read the parent post about the "Cobra Effect"? $10 for a snake would not only make an industry out of killing them, it would create an industry of people who would start to breed snakes for profit.. and who would then let them go in to the wild if they were closed down.

    • "Tax the rat farms."
          - Vetinari

  • Made me think of the puzzle website I went through while learning the programing language. Any puzzle lovers out there interested can find it here [] It can be done with little or no knowledge of the language as long as you don't mind reading the docs.
    • I'm not sure why dicks are modding you down; that turned out to be a wonderfully interesting and noncommercial site which (gasp) is news for nerds like me and stuff that matters. I'm glad I caught your post before the "Offtopic" sourpusses did.

      That said, I wasted most of the day on it and am at challenge 11, but I'm finding it's turning out to be less and less about python and more and more about silly logic games. Still, the widely different solutions people come up with are amazing.

  • by mirix ( 1649853 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:00PM (#42236213)

    They're sort of... living legends... An alpha release snake.

    Later species are much more streamlined, and have dropped some of their dual organs to make room. (Newer snakes only have one lung, for example. well - they usually have a second joke-sized vestigial lung as well). Fat snakes like pythons and boas have two, still.

    Another neat thing about pythons is they have little.. claw like things, near their exhaust pipe. Remnants of their hind legs. :)
    Reptiles lost in time...

    I understand why they have to go in Florida (which seems hopeless at this point, anyhow), though.
    The first time I saw a Burmese Python (like those in Florida) in person I was just amazed at the size of the thing... A snake that weighs more than me.

    • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:39PM (#42236519)
      I used to keep pythons. They're surprisingly intelligent and even have personalities. I had a 10' albino that was my favorite. He'd curl up in my lap while I watched TV. I think they are a terrible pet for the average person but the laws they passed are ridiculous because they force most owners into a situation of either having their snakes put to sleep or releasing them. What people don't realize is Florida is the only state in the union that they can survive in. They are extremely sensitive to cold and don't like dry conditions. Banning the transportation in the other lower 48 is nuts. Ban importation fine, ban the sale in Florida fine. In Florida they need a system where people can turn them in no questions asked and hopefully to wildlife rescues and not to be put down. Owners can grow really attached to them and may foolishly release them so they aren't killed. Also ban the breeding of Pythons in Florida. The problem could disappear as in new releases if they aren't allowed to breed. Unfortunately they should have never been allowed in Florida. Now the situation is nearly impossible to control. Florida is still dragging their feet on the solution. There's hunting restrictions in many areas where as they should be encouraged. It'd be worth putting a bounty on them and it could even be partly paid by the sale of the skins. When I was in New Zealand they were selling items like fur covered notepads made of Opossum fur. They imported a type of Opossum from Australia a 100 years ago to start a fur industry. They population is out of control so they are trying everything to irradicate them. Florida needs to get aggressive. Sell python based products and use the money to fund hunts. It may be impossible to get rid of them but you can seriously reduce the numbers.
      • In Florida they need a system where people can turn them in no questions asked

        Sort of a "python amnesty"?

        And BTW, I'm currently in NZ and am wearing socks that include a mix of opossum wool. I get the occasional urge to climb a tree but no other side-effects. (And in my time here I've also eaten opossum stir-fry. Them's good eating... )

      • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

        I saw a special on TV not too long ago that covered the python problem in Florida. The idea that they cant spread further north is somewhat false. There is an outdoor habitat somewhere in north Georgia (I think) that tested the theory of the snakes inability to survive cold weather and found they were able to survive a Georgia winter. So the pythons could certainly spread throughout the southern US.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      weighs more than you? you are not from Florida.
  • $1500 for a month's worth of effort? I'll pass. That doesn't even put you above the poverty line.
    • by rickkw ( 920898 )
      You tell that to the recreational hunters and fishermen. It's a sport.
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      It's not meant to be employment. It's meant to encourage sport hunters to go for pythons next time out.

  • by mseeger ( 40923 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:10PM (#42236307) []

    Also very long python there ....

  • Did someone confuse Python [] for Python [] ?
  • Money Python + (Language) Python + Monty Python = ?

    Extra Points for "Profit!"

  • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:13PM (#42236351)

    Said no one.

  • And they get double rewards for convincing the captured programmer to start developing in PHP!

  • When I saw the article at first, I immediately thought this had to do with the Python programming language - since this is Slashdot. Boy, was I wrong. Hmmmm... Maybe the editor just saw the word 'python' and didn't actually read TFA? Probably, since this is Slashdot.
  • by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @05:20PM (#42236407)
    Why do people own exotic pets when they're only going to abandon them when they inevitably grow larger? In Long Island, N.Y., we've recently had a couple weeks where alligators have been turning up. []

    "Those beasts paled in comparison to Ming the tiger, who was discovered living in a Manhattan apartment in 2003. Ming's owner, Antoine Yates, unwittingly alerted police to the tiger's existence when he showed up at a hospital with deep bite marks on his leg. Hospital officials didn't believe the story that a dog had caused the bite. When police went to check Yates' apartment, they heard growling through the door." Cops also found (what else?) an alligator in the guy's apartment.

    • Why is it always alligators and never kangaroos or something, it what I want to know.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Of the dozen or so people I've met with exotic pets all of them had an IQ a standard deviation or two below the mean.

      • Of the dozen or so people I've met with exotic pets all of them had an IQ a standard deviation or two below the mean.

        The pet or the pet owner? A python with an IQ of 66 or so could be pretty impressive.

    • Why? In many cases it's just because they're cool - right up until the owner lose interest and/or can't control or afford them anymore. They can't kill their "pet", so they do the cowardly thing and release them into the wild. "Be free, my pet!"... Idiots.

      Example: Earlier this year a friend of mine near our home found 3-4 turtles in an irrigation ditch that had been abandoned. They were about the size of a man's palm each, but they didn't look like any other turtle he'd seen before. He took some pictures an

      • Cool. You mean to say that alligators aren't native to Arizona? (lol) Why do some people own pitbulls if not to attempt to show how 'thug' they are?
  • Oh Whacking Day
    Oh Whacking Day
    Our hallowed snake skull-cracking day
    We'll break their backs
    Gouge out their eyes
    Their evil hearts we'll pulverize
    Oh Whacking Day
    Oh Whacking Day
    May God bestow his grace on thee

  • How do you catch a python? [] It helps they're nonvenomous
  • A few years ago I was doing some work in the Everglades National Park and during a pre-work briefing the Chief of Resource Management (person in charge of protecting everything) basically told us "if you see one of those snakes on the road, run it over and then back up over it to make sure".
  • Put a bounty on them, or at least let people kill as many as they wish. Requiring a permit to kill something you want to exterminate is stupid. Do you need a license to kill rats in Florida?

    • The Florida Fish & Wildlife site is your friend & helper: []

      "Gun/Light at Night Permit

      This permit authorizes a landowner or their designee to take depredating wildlife (beaver, bobcat, fox, possum, rabbit, raccoon, or skunk) at night with a gun and light. The permit is not required to take wild hog, coyote, armadillo, black or Norway rat, and house mouse, with a gun and light during non-daylight hours.

      Hunting and trapping wild hogs is not only a

    • by Monoman ( 8745 )

      This! It makes no sense to require a permit to exterminate these things.

      I live in south FL, I have never seen one of these snakes but iguanas are taking over in some areas. Southern FL is a very welcoming ecosystem for many creatures. We have all kinds of invasive species from snakes and iguanas to white flies and lion fish. ...

    • by kjshark ( 312401 )

      They want to know who's wandering around in the swap shooting at things.

  • Next up: lion fish! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chewbacon ( 797801 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @07:07PM (#42237219)
    They're invading our waters, more importantly reef habitats. The bigger fish haven't recognized them as prey yet as they gobble up all the smaller fish. My local dive shop is paying $5 a head for them and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation has issued an open season for them, no fishing license required. Good eatin from what I've heard. Tastes like hogfish, just use a paralyzer tip and cut the spines off without poking yourself.
  • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

    I guess I'm the only one who read that as, "Monty Python" Florida Contest Offers Rewards...."

  • 1. Spark a hunting spree that has no hope of eradicating them.
    2. Apply selective pressure to breed unhuntable pythons.
    3. ???
    4. Profit!

    Or am I missing something?

    • > Apply selective pressure to breed unhuntable pythons.

      After all, look at all the other animals that have been hunted for millenia and have consequently become "unhuntable".

      > Or am I missing something?

      The fact that many species have been hunted to extinction?

      • by PPH ( 736903 )
        Yeah. You'd think natural selection would produce a raccoon that was un-squishable by cars. Not yet. Not in my neighborhood.
  • Send in a Gatoroid. [] I'd say it's Syfylicious, but there aren't any WWE actors.
  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    Spread a rumor that python meat is an aphrodisiac. They'll be extinct in no time.

  • I always find it so ironic when people consider the solution to protecting wildlife to be killing other wildlife. They never explain why the individuals of the other species don't have the right to live and be left in peace just as much as the ones that are being "protected".
  • This will not slow down the snakes. Instead, they need some reason for hunters to continue going after them. The state would be wise to approach several tanneries within the state and offering to buy various products made with the python. These should be products that can and will be sold on the open market. The idea is to stimulate the tanneries to create sellable products with these and then allowing free enterprise to go after them.

    The nice side effect of this, is that they are creating a number of job

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun