Overheard on CNN.com: Readers' solutions for Florida's wild python problems
Pythons are wiping out mammals in the Florida Everglades, a new report says.
January 31st, 2012
03:31 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers' solutions for Florida's wild python problems

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"They need to import the Honey Badger. That'll fix the problem."
Banned in 49 States

Florida has a GOP primary, but it's also got pythons. The slithering creatures have inspired many memorable comments on CNN.com on Tuesday.

Pythons wiping out mammals in Everglades, researchers say

Commenters offered ideas to get rid of the creatures, suggesting they be hunted.

Michael Vick: "The solution to the problem is already presented in the article. If Burmese pythons are threatened in their native range because humans hunt them for meat and skins, you just have to do the same to get rid of them (in the Everglades). You're forgetting python skins make great handbags, purses and shoes. This may help Florida's manufacturing industry as they have an unlimited supply of python skin. Python meat is lean and quite tasty. They taste better than rattlesnake meat and are much healthier for you than red and white meat. Florida needs to do this soon or else there won't be anything left but pythons."

Maybe a net is in order, one reader said.

Debra: "This situation has been known about for a very long time, and nothing much has been done about it. Can't a large net be placed into the water or where they live, scooped up and then killed? The only time they will get serious about this situation is when a human, like a child, is taken by one of them!"

Some suggested new rules for wildlife:

JaneDoe: "First, we need to end importation of any wildlife from any country into the U.S. Second, the government needs to pay hunters to kill these creatures. ... It is cheaper to do that now than to allow these creatures to come into neighborhoods and hide in yards. Eventually, they will hunt other food sources like pets and children."

The bounty-hunting concept came up a few times.

charles: "Why don't they put a bounty on the pythons. ... (P)eople could get X amount of dollars for each python they bring in to the DNR. They did things like this back in the day on wolves and such and practically wiped them out (I don't agree with what they did to wolves; they are a native species), but pythons are not native and are killing the native species off so I don't see a problem with a bounty on them.

But should people just leave the situation alone?

Adam: "Why is it that we think we need to get involved? Let Darwinism do its thing. Eventually, the pythons will overpopulate and run out of a food supply. They'll begin to die off one after another until their population is put into a healthy number, and the mammals will start to make a comeback. Are we really ignorant enough to believe that we can keep everything in this world exactly the same as we remember it for all of time? Give me a break."

A few readers debated regulating pythons.

Amanda: "There is an easy fix to the releasing-them-into-the-wild problem. Make all snake owners register and have check-ins. Sorry, but if you own a deadly animal, you should have to be regulated and there should be programs in place to see that you are caring for them properly and that when they expire, that the corpse is inspected. Not only will this put a stop to releasing them entirely, but it will hold accountable these owners from abusing these animals."

Some more ideas include:

Mike: "Use rabbits. Mount GPS tracking devices on them with an alarm that sends a signal when they are swallowed or die. Then follow the GPS coordinates right to the snakes and destroy them (if eaten by gators or other predators you can just let 'em poop it out). Selectively breed small, slow-moving rabbits, then attach the device and let them go all over Florida. The devices should be reusable. Put a bounty on them as well."

Bookenz: "With laser beams in their eyes."

Michael Vick: "Why mount rabbits with expensive GPS when you can arm it with cheap bomb? If a python eats it, that will be its last meal."

Got any thoughts on Florida's python issue? Sound off on video via CNN iReport, and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments area below.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Animals • Overheard on CNN.com • Snakes
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Em

    Michael Vick is an idiot - meat from pythons in the Everglades is full of mercury, so it isn't healthy to eat. Besides, pythons aren't easy to find or catch and Americans don't work cheap, so if you count in the effort required and how much hunters will expect to make per skin, there's not likely to be enough demand for such expensive python skin handbags!

    As for GPS trackers on rabbits, there are many reasons why this is a poor idea (especially the bit about breeding slow rabbits), but most importantly, where do these people propose to get the millions, possibly billions of dollars to pay for them? Or to pay for a bounty program? Right now the state is recruiting a network of VOLUNTEERS to look for pythons because they don't have any funding!

    February 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Northern Wildlife

      Where is your empirical evidence of dangerous mercury levels in the Everglades? Having worked in SE Asia, python is on the menu in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Since human interferecence has disrupted the Everglades ecosystem, it makes sense that humans take on the role of alpha predator to evasive species.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Walther

      Adults who use fake names should tread lightly when labeling anyone else.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      Isn't that the same water people drink in Miami?

      December 7, 2012 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. BallsAreGood

    CNN should make it clear to viewers and readers that burmese python is one of the "large" pythons and there are smaller pythons such as ball pythons (royal python) that are docile, manageable and very peaceful nice pets when taken care of properly. No one should let a snake run freely in their home like a cat or a dog. And the "large snake" is never a good pet for someone with children or someone living in close proximity to others. The smaller ball python on the other hand is perhaps the best pet you will ever have if you don't mind putting it away and not treating it like a cat or a dog.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. rs1201

    Isn't there a way to introduce a birth control drug that will stop their reproduction and then hunt them down and kill as many as possible. Eventually, the population will go down to zero. NYC controlled the pigeon population by introducing birth control drugs and it succeeded.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Feed them Chick Fil A

    Feed them Chick Fil A- that should kill them

    August 14, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Miyoshi

      hahahahaha! Hey, they've got good milkshakes.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kpink

    Let hunters have open season on them all year all the time...I'll bet even a small bounty will bring the adventurous out of the woods to kill these hideous creatures.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Miyoshi

      Now that's a good idea. We're not producing enough of our own fashion industry product in the US anymore; there ya go.....allow merchants to hunt these creatures & sell python goods! I've paid over $1000 for a pair of python shoes & a bag. Now I can get them for FREE if I catch my own snake??!! Count me in. lol

      August 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bubba

    Go to Louisiana and Get Troy Landry, The King of the Swamp. He can get them.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Becca

    It is ludicrous to think about leaving them alone, letting them eat up all their food supply, then begin dying out. They will most certainly turn to pets and children...even adults! Invasive species need to be eradicated, one way or another. If I were a Florida citizen, I'd be willing to throw $5 or $10 into a pot, to create a bounty reward...then let those adventurers get to the task of finding and killing those monsters!!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Becca

    This must be very tough on Florida's tourist industry in the Everglades area. I know that's the last place I'll be going!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. g.r.r.

    Help several small start-up companies to do leatherwork using local hides, ESP. with Python, Gator, etc. Boots, BriefCases, Purses, heck, even dresses. The fact is, that by getting SEVERAL companies and marketing the goods from them, these companies will be paying more and more for the pythons and other skins. This is not just cheaper than bounties, but it is also able to re-coup the money by creating a taxable industry.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. carl

    I like michael vick s idea. why couldn't you use rabbits or possums or any small animal with poison tablets fasten to their body that would release after the snake would eat them

    August 30, 2012 at 1:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wait a second

      If you use poison or as other people suggested bombs or nets you start killing off indigenous predators and species. Every species has it's place, the Burmese python's is in SE Asia not Florida though. I don't usually advocate hunting, but it does seem to be the most effective method for invasive species to put open season on them.

      September 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. unknown

    jail time and pay big money for anyone who raising them,sale or bring them to the US

    September 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. skyfish

    Introduce and breed more great egrets and storks and other snake-eating birds into the afflicted area and let them deal with most of the problem. If the bird get to be a problem (which they probably won't since they're already native to Florida) you have a nice big 3 foot white target to shoot at

    November 26, 2012 at 2:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Squidsarecool

    NO george its not cool! Blow up dem Snakez! Put Da Bombz On Day Back An Blow Dem UP! Snakes taste like CHICKEN! Dem snakes be workin with the devil!!

    January 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • JohnHick

      On dem snakes wood nut be a gud a idea! you might blow a hoe in da ground dawg! wut did da plants do ta ya!

      January 31, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bk

    i don't understand why florida requires a permit to hunt them. just make it legal to hunt them 24/7 without any paper/legal requirements. just an example of beauracracy getting in the way of common sense.

    February 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Richard

    I have sent my ideas into the FF&W. They have responded to me; I feel, from their responses that they are hoping the problem will go away on its own. One solution was to set "cages" with 5" openings and 6" wild hogs as bait. (Hogs are another problem in S. FL) Once a python eats a hog, it'll be stuck in there for 24-48 hours, until it digests. Florida didn't like that idea. I think importing 10-20 Burmese snake hunters to allow them to keep and export their catch could be an inexpensive solution. I think Florida just wants it to take care of itself at the expense of the Everglades. I fear they will take action after a life is lost.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
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