The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent out notice this past week that they’re expanding their Burmese python hunting to all hunters on state and federal lands in South Florida – including Big Cypress National Preserve. That’s good news to Florida hikers, since stumbling across one of these monster snakes in the wilds isn’t something you’d particularly want to do. Although no one’s started a “red alert” system on these invasive reptiles, if you’re hiking in South Florida, it wouldn’t hurt to keep this hotline in your cell phone: 1-866-392-4286.
According to a representative of FWC who responded to my inquiry, “Hikers can report sightings of Burmese pythons to the FWC gator hotline: 866-392-4286 (866-FWC-GATOR). The operators will collect the person’s name and contact information, the location of the sighting (GPS coordinates are best), general size information (was the snake longer than a car?), and some other basic info. Hikers that can take a photo of the snake can email that in to the operator as well.”
Or, you can wait until you get home and send them info about the snake at this link. But I’d think I’d have a little more peace of mind reporting it immediately, if I had a cell phone signal. 😉
Hunting of Burmese pythons is still not permitted within the boundaries of Everglades National Park. Read more about this eradication program…