Don’t Pay Hunters to Kill Reptile Species and Trample Protected Land

Target: Rodney Barreto, Commissioner of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Goal: Stop glamorizing competitive killing of pythons and ensure humane removals.

The Florida Python Challenge has entered another year. During this period that lasts around two weeks, hunters and trappers are paid to remove pythons from the Florida Everglades. These snakes are a dangerous invasive species that can put mammals and other reptiles at risk. Are the bounties placed on their heads truly the best and most humane means of conservation, however?

For one, killing these living beings has recently become akin to a grotesque game. Hunters in the current contest are given a grand prize for whoever scores the most “kills.” Previous versions of these competitions have even rewarded separate prizes based on the longest snakes removed or even upped prizes if the pythons are breeding females. These animals had no choice in where they ended up, as the species was first introduced through release by humans. Their deaths should not be made into a sport simply because they are following their natural instincts.

In addition, while the state agencies say they emphasize humane euthanizing, hunters are not penalized for killing these animals in more violent and hurtful ways. Removal while preserving the animal’s life, or at the very least humane treatment, should be a requirement. And finally, state authorities may be using these snake hunts as an excuse to open up protected wildlands to exploitation by humans. The governor is already trying to grant snake hunters increased access to a national wetlands preserve.

Sign the petition below to demand the agency tasked with protecting all wildlife rethink and revamp an initiative that gleefully encourages slaughter.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Commissioner,

The Python Elimination Program, the Python Action Team, the Python Challenge, and similar efforts to remove invasive Burmese pythons may have begun with good intentions. With reform, they may still yet carry forward a positive legacy of animal conservation. Python removal in Florida as it stands now, however, has seemingly become little more than a blood sport.

This cull should have never been made into a competition, and a conservation agency should never be boasting about how it pays out grand cash prizes to the biggest executioner of a species. News reports are already proudly talking about how the latest Challenge will reward the hunter with the most “kills.” These animals arrived in Florida through no fault of their own, and they should be afforded the compassionate treatment granted any other living being.

Humane and, if at all possible, live removal should not be recommendations. They should be requirements. Perhaps more crucially, do not advocate for giving any hunter an open-door policy to federally protected lands. Such a move creates a very dangerous slippery slope for Florida’s conservation future.

Please end the exploitative Florida Python Challenge and find a better way that safeguards all animals.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Susanne Jutzeler


48 Comments

  1. Rob Stephens says:

    Is there no one monitoring who posts petitions???
    This is one of the stupidest ones yet.
    The pythons are decimating local wildlife, these snakes do not belong there, are dangerous and need to be killed. They have thousands of eggs in them and only humans are their natural predator.
    They’re also dangerous to humans, pets, livestock when they get into their giant size category .
    Those crying about these snakes> get educated for gawds sake!! You sound like fools! Not every living thing is meant to exist.

    • Did you even read this article. The snakes did not come here by themselves and it does not suggest they are left to multiply. It suggests there is a humane way to to dispose of them. Making it a blood ‘sport’ is disgusting and so much a people thing to do. So I suggest you get educated because your last sentence could apply to you.

  2. @Rob Stephens… with all due ‘respect’ your wild and selfish statement of “Not every living thing is meant to exist” is as ‘foolish’ as your entire comment. The ONLY living ‘thing’ that needs to reduce its numbers are humans. And, it was most likely humans who introduced the poor python to the everglades. The question that this petition is asking, is … IS THERE ANOTHER (i.e. A BETTER, KINDER) WAY TO GET RID OF THEM. Why must humans always exercise their blood lust? Culling an inflated population is one thing, turning it into a ‘winner takes all’ sick sports event, is another. It is cruel and unnecessary. Do you understand?

  3. The exploitative Florida Python Challenge MUST END, and a better way that safeguards all animals must be FOUND! ALL ANIMALS HAVE BIRTHRIGHT TO THIS PLANET JUST LIKE HUMANS! HUMANS HAVE NO RIGHT TO ERADICATE THE ANIMALS AND TURN RUTHLESS AND BRAINLESS KILLING INTO “ENTERTAINMENT”!!
    STOP this horrific ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME YOU DEHUMANIZED, DESENSITIZED, SADISTIC AND PSYCHOPATHIC BASTARDS. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO DESTROY TO DIVERSITY OF OUR PLANET.
    SHOOT EACH OTHER INSTEAD YOU PRIMITIVE BRAINS BECAUSE YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS PLANET.

  4. Sandra Taylor says:

    Burmese pythons are terrible creatures,kills everything that not belong on any places,I’m not helping this kind of creatures,no way..this pythons need to be rid off the places,where they are not belong.I would rather get rid of this species.sorry pal.

    • It was terrible pet owners that released them were thay were not suposto to be. It’s not the animals fault. It’s uncaring humans.

    • Wow. Have you not studied? Ever hear of the food chain and the havoc that gets wreaked when something is taken OUT OF THE FOOD CHAIN? Go back and study. I understand introducing species where they do not belong but you can’t wipe out a species just because you don’t like them. Like snakes control the rat population BECAUSE THEY EAT THEM. If you take snakes out of the equation, you get OVERRUN WITH RATS.

  5. Debra Broach says:

    The only fool to me is another typical human being who have no trouble diminishing living creatures, since they are not human. The typical state of this world is humanity becoming more selfish, cruel and full of themselves thinking they are more important than everything else. Every living thing is meant to exist. It’s trying to exist along humans that is causing the problem. Talk about a FOOL!

  6. Carolyn Douglas says:

    Leave the helpless totally innocent animals alone. Pay the thrill killet punks to fight each other..

  7. The only good hunter is a dead one. Hunt the hunters!

  8. Karen Daley says:

    I agree. There is no need for hunters.

  9. Raynesha McGhee-Reed says:

    The hunters don’t deserve 2 be paid 4 such Horrific Animal Cruelty & leave them alone

  10. KILL HUNTERS!!!!

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