Burmese Python Hunt Extended

Burmese python captured in Florida.
TAMPA (2010-2-22) -

State wildlife officials are asking hunters to go out and bag as many Burmese Pythons in the Everglades as they can.

Florida Fish and Wildlife is opening a special season on Burmese pythons, African rock pythons and Nile monitor lizards starting March 8th.

On Monday, the agency held workshops in South Florida about how to find pythons and take them out.

The agency's Tony Young says a special executive order for python seasons kicks in March 8 through April 17.

“That's just giving hunters more days to go out and hopefully get more of these snakes,” he said.

High mercury levels may make the meat too toxic to eat, but Young says the snakes make good boots, bags and belts.

There's money to be made by rooting out the nuisance snakes. On the Internet, cowboy boots made from python go for as much as $700.

Brian Wood of All American Gator says there is some demand for accessories made from the exotic snakes from familiar groups, such as Hermes, Gucci, and Prada.

Wood says he pays about five dollars a foot for big snakes. State officials are hoping the money will make licensed hunters want to harvest more big snakes.

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