The Burmese Python Problem in the Florida Everglades
- Burmese pythons are an invasive apex predator taking over the Florida Everglades.
- Burmese pythons can grow up to 20 feet long, have razor-sharp teeth, and can crush their prey with their muscular bodies.
- Trapper Mike Kimmel has been contracted by SFWMD to help manage the growing python population for the state.
- Mike Kimmel captures these snakes alive by hand and euthanizes before leaving the Everglades.
- The hunter has taken The Wizard of Odd TV’s Travis Hoefle into the swamps to capture these deadly creatures.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
By: Jesse Bereta
The Florida Everglades are a famously dangerous place to venture, alligators have ruled the swamps there for generations. However, a new apex predator has been taking over the area.
Burmese pythons are giant constrictors that are native to Asia. They have been invading Florida since the 70-80s.
In the cocaine era a lot of people had exotic pets and would release them into the Everglades but it became a big problem in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew hit, releasing tons of Pythons from local pets stores.
These dangerous snakes can grow up to 20 feet long. Each female can lay over 100 eggs a year and possibly at a time.
It is estimated that over 100,000 Burmese pythons are now slithering their way around the Everglades today.
The beasts have been disrupting the ecosystem by eating birds, mammals, and even alligators causing a scarcity in prey for the areas native apex predators.
An estimated 99% of fur-bearing animals have been eradicated because of these deadly snakes.
Florida decided to fight back. South Florida Water Management District started a state funded program where 25 of the best hunters go out and remove as many of the snakes as possible.
They are using every technique they can including drones and capturing the creatures by hand.
The largest python captured yet was an astounding 17 feet long.
The Wizard of Odd TV’s own Travis Hoefle travelled to the Everglades to go snake capturing with one of the specialized Python hunters, Mike Kimmel.
“I’m known as the Python cowboy. I sleep out in the Florida Everglades now I hunt big-ass snakes,” says the trapper.
Kimmel warns that the Everglades is an extremely dangerous place, and his job is full of risks every day.
“It’s really no joke, these snakes can kill you an alligator can kill you a lot can go wrong.” Says Kimmel as he makes sure Travis is aware of where the gun is and where to shoot any animal that attacks.
Kimmel is dedicated to helping to limit the python population and protecting his home.
“This is my home, you know. This is how I make my living, I make my living off of wildlife. And, I was born and raised in it.
You guys wouldn’t believe with driving for nights in that truck, staring at the ground in the middle of the swamp will do to you.
Getting eaten up by mosquitoes and it will drive you frickin’ crazy man.
So, you know it’s something you got to love.
It’s something you got to have a real personal mission for.”
Be sure to watch the whole video below as Kimmel takes Travis Hoefle through the Everglades to capture these dangerous animals.