Stalking pythons: Florida Lt. governor joins Everglades hunt

Photo courtesy Chris Gillette at ChrisGillette.com

MIAMI (AP) — Florida’s lieutenant governor joined hunters paid by the state to stalk and shoot invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

South Florida Water Management District spokesman Randy Smith says Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera went hunting Monday night with one of 25 hunters hired to kill pythons on district property.

Smith says Tom Rahill and Lopez Cantera brought in a 15-foot-4-inch (5-meter) python. It was the 96th python caught by the district’s hunters since March 25.

Rahill leads the “Swamp Apes” program taking veterans on hunts to remove invasive animals from the Everglades. He took Lopez Cantera hunting along a canal in western Miami-Dade County.

The district is paying $8.10 an hour in a python-killing pilot program ending June 1. Florida’s wildlife agency also is hiring contractors to remove pythons from specific areas.

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