Nation

The Snake's A Snitch: Why Florida Released Biggest Python Caught In Hunt

NPR | Feb. 19, 2013 9:47 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

A Burmese python at Zoo Miami. Authorities are trying to cut down the number of such snakes in the state.

A Burmese python at Zoo Miami. Authorities are trying to cut down the number of such snakes in the state.

Peter Andrew Bosch, MCT /Landov

This headline may make you go “huh?”

“Biggest Python in Florida Snake Hunt Released Back into the Wild.”

Read into that story from ABC News, though, and you will soon learn the reason why the more than 11-foot-long snake and two of his smaller cousins were set free instead of killed when the state’s 2013 Python Challenge ended over the weekend.

They’ve each been implanted with two transmitters in the hope that they’ll lead researchers to breeding females — who will in turn then be captured and killed.

In other words, these three snakes are studs sent out to snitch.

As authorities try to get a hold on the state’s python problem — “as many as 150,000 of them [are] slithering about in the Florida underbrush,” as Korva wrote Saturday — they want to track down those females during this current breeding season.

They’re also hoping to recapture the tagged snakes.

About 1,600 people signed up to hunt pythons during the 2013 challenge. Sixty eight snakes were caught this year.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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