World-Famous Snake Catchers, Irula Tribesmen Help Officials In Florida Catch Pythons
By Space Coast Daily // January 25, 2017
FLORIDA – There are two new efforts underway to remove non-native pythons in Florida.
The Irula tribe are world-renowned snake catchers from India, and Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are hoping they can pass their skills on to snake catchers here in Florida.
In their first eight days on the job, they removed 13 snakes.
Detector dogs, specially trained by Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, have begun sniffing out snakes in south Florida as part of another python removal effort.
They are helping FWC biologists, University of Florida and Irula tribesmen by identifying areas where pythons are hiding in environmentally sensitive locations.
Two tribesmen and two translators arrived in early January and will stay in South Florida through February.
FWC officials say they will continue to work with UF and other partners on additional projects aimed at removing pythons and other non-native species from Florida.
The FWC is funding the $68,888 project.
“It is outstanding that they have been able to remove pythons from Key Largo,” said UF/IFAS wildlife biologist, Frank Mazzotti t, speaking to the Palm Beach Post.
“And to get four pythons, including a 16-foot female, is just incredible.”
You can help with removal efforts by reporting python sightings to our Exotic Species Reporting Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (888-483-4681), online at IveGot1.org or by downloading the free “IveGot1” smartphone app.
Palm Beach Post Contributed To This Report