Meet the women hunting giant pythons ‘eating everything’ in the Everglades
On a recent morning, a crew of women from a Florida conservation organization met to head off to the Everglades and hunt giant pythons. The hunting party began to gather near a large waterway in the middle of the day.
“I know you’re nervous, but we’re going to do this,” said Stephanie White, conservation officer with the Friends of the Everglades, to the gathered women. “You won’t regret it.”
One by one, the women were escorted by Conservation Officers, wearing hard hats, to a small area, where they would be able to shoot giant pythons.
“They are one of the most invasive and destructive snakes in Florida,” said White. “I’ve heard that the python population has doubled since the 1950’s.”
White went on to explain that the largest snakes in Florida, a python about four feet long, are usually found in the Everglades or in the Everglades National Park. They eat everything, including native flora, animals and people.
“What they eat is amazing,” White said. “They’ll eat everything, even small lizards and frogs if they can get them on to the python.”
White explained that the female pythons are usually aggressive toward humans and will pounce on them to attack, even trying to bite through the skin to get to the flesh.
“The largest python that has ever been caught in Everglades National Park was four foot,” said White. “It took three men to pick up what this python was eating off one person.”
White emphasized that no man should put himself in harm’s way for any reason. The women were instructed not to go to any spots that could be dangerous to themselves or others. The group then piled into their trucks and headed to the waterway.
Once at the waterway, the group had to get past the pythons as they walked, as they are dangerous to the person walking through them. The women were advised to only use hammers to kill the pythons once they were in the water.