Python hunters bag 37 in Florida

November 3, 2009 9:18:32 AM PST
Expert snake hunters snared 37 pythons in South Florida during a trial hunting season to eradicate the invasive species. State wildlife officials granted 15 permits in July to snake experts. The program ended on Halloween but officials hope to start it again next year.

Meanwhile, hunters are still allowed to kill the snakes in designated areas.

The number of pythons in South Florida has exploded in the past decade to potentially tens of thousands. Scientists believe pet owners freed their snakes into the wild.

They also think some Burmese pythons may have escaped in 1992 from pet shops battered by Hurricane Andrew and have been reproducing ever since.

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