Florida officials remove 5,000 pythons from Everglades

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SUNRISE, FLORIDA – JANUARY 10: A python is seen as Robert Edman, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, gives a python-catching demonstration to potential snake hunters at the start of the Python Bowl 2020 on January 10, 2020 in Sunrise, Florida. The Florida Python Challenge 2020 Python Bowl taking place a few weeks before the Super Bowl being held in Miami Gardens, is a 10-day competition to remove Burmese pythons from the Florida Everglades due to the threat to the delicate ecosystem that they pose as they have no predators and reproduce rapidly. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Talk about your unwanted guests.

Burmese pythons are not naturally found in Florida. But the nonnative pests reproduce — and kill other species — so frequently that the state takes extraordinary measures to combat them.

Wildlife officials removed 5,000 from the Everglades, according to a statement from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“Each invasive python eliminated represents hundreds of native Florida wildlife saved,” said “Alligator Ron” Bergeron, a member of the South Florida Water Management District’s governing board. “Florida is doing more than it ever has to remove pythons from the Everglades and protect this ecosystem for generations to come.”

How did Burmese pythons become so established in Florida?

Wildlife officials say it happened as a result of escaped or released pets. It is illegal to release nonnative species into the wild.

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