Snake-catchers from India hunt pythons in Florida Everglades

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MIAMI, Fla. (WESH) — Florida wildlife officials have recruited tribesmen from India in the state’s ongoing hunt for Burmese pythons.

Irula tribesmen are well-known in southern India for their snake-catching. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hopes they’ll reveal something that has long eluded researchers: a reliable way to track and spot the tan, splotchy snakes that all but disappear in the Everglades.

One of the commission’s exotic species experts, Kristen Sommers, said in a statement Monday that the state hopes the tribesmen can teach people in Florida some of their skills.

The tribesmen have removed 13 pythons in just over a week, including four from the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Key Largo. One of the snakes was a female measuring 16 feet long.

Last year, a state-sanctioned hunt netted 106 pythons in one month.

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