Throughout modern history, human beings have been tampering with the natural order of things, for better or worse, and both willingly and unintentionally.
Depending on who you ask, the ends have justified the means. We live a whole lot longer than we used to, we can truly understand the beauty of the nature around us, and we’ve discovered new ways to protect the planet’s most delicate organisms.
But we’ve also done our fair share of messing things up, too, and one of the most obtuse ways in which we do this is through the introduction of non-native species to areas where they are just too powerful.
Such is the case of the Burmese Python in Florida, and Sunshine State officials are now putting a bounty on their head.
Professional python hunters and amateurs alike have a chance to win prizes in Florida’s annual hunt for the biggest snakes—the Burmese pythons that are ravaging the state’s native species. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state’s annual contest on Thursday: It will run from July 9 to July 18 and include prizes for both pros and novices. In both categories, there will be a $2,500 prize for catching the most pythons and $1,500 for the longest, the AP reports. The contest has been held every three years, per WKMG, but DeSantis now wants it to be yearly.
The snakes that live in the Everglades today began arriving as discarded pets over five decades ago. With each female laying up to 100 eggs per year, and with only full-grown alligators to worry about, these snakes have been multiplying at an alarming rate.