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Nelson: Kill those snakes in the grass!

by Dara Kam | July 14th, 2009

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is asking federal officials for a posse.

A python posse, that is.

Nelson sent a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking him to approve a python-kill because the slithering beasts are taking over the River of Grass.

nelson-pythonNelson earlier this year introduced a bill to ban imports of Burmese pythons and classifying them as “injurious animals.”

Two weeks ago, a pet python strangled to death a two-year-old Florida girl, creating an uproar about the invasive predators.

Police remove a Burmese python from a home in Oxford, Fla. on July 1 after it killed a young girl.

Police remove a Burmese python from a home in Oxford, Fla. on July 1 after it killed a young girl.

Officials “need to get a grip on pythons invading America’s Everglades,” Nelson wrote.

“They are threatening endangered wildlife there – and, Lord forbid, a visitor in the Everglades ever encounters one,” he wrote.

Nelson’s proposing an organized hunt to diminish the ever-growing python population in the ‘Glades. The posse could consist of park rangers or deputies and volunteers, Nelson suggested.

Read Nelson’s letter after the jump.

Photos Fatal python attack

July 14, 2009

Ken Salazar
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20240

Dear Secretary Salazar:

As we have discussed, we need to get a grip on pythons invading America’s Everglades. Thus, I would offer two things.

First, I appreciate your input on my bill that would ban the import of Burmese pythons. Many of these dangerous snakes are making their way into the ‘Glades because they are being released by their owners. My legislation would classify pythons as an injurious animal and would prohibit their import and interstate trade.

Passage of this bill would put an end to people importing these things. And, I hope we never again would have to see what we saw in Florida three weeks ago: a toddler strangled to death by a pet python.

Second, when we visited the Everglades recently we heard a variety of ideas for capturing or killing many of the estimated 100,000-or-more pythons now roaming the ‘Glades. They are threatening endangered wildlife there – and, Lord forbid, a visitor in the Everglades ever encounters one.

One idea seems particularly promising. Some, including Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, appear open to an organized hunt. This is not intended in any way to open our national parks to hunting per se. Steps must be taken to protect the Florida Panther and other wildlife.

Instead, the U.S. Park Service, under your direction, would allow for a supervised hunt of pythons by park staff, authorized deputies or agents and volunteers. Given the serious threat from these snakes, I ask that you approve of taking this step.

Bill Nelson

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16 Responses to “Nelson: Kill those snakes in the grass!”

  1. You lost Says:

    You already lost the battle…..100,000 snakes already out there. You could kill 50,000 only to find that by next year they have bred up to 100,000 again. No erradication program in FL has ever worked, it just burns up money and manpower…..

  2. Post On Politics » Blog Archive » Post on Politics - Says:

    [...] Across Florida What’s happening on other political blogs? « Nelson: Kill those snakes in the grass! [...]

  3. fred Says:

    If you put a bounty on pythons there will be lots of folks who will go out and find, and kill them. Money talks, bullshit walks.

  4. FloridaMike Says:

    I only wish that Nelson would care as much about Florida citizens as he does for the everglades wildlife. His voting record on immigration is a solid F, down from a D. This guy voted against E-verify, a 99.9 % correct program to protect American workers. He is a SNAKE and needs to be removed.

  5. Tomtom Says:

    Can we add iguanas to the list please?

  6. S. Christison Says:

    If Florida’s Fish and Game would sell REASONABLY priced hunting tags, and maybe offer some recipes on their website (how to cook snake, it tastes just like chicken I’ll bet), wouldn’t the hunting of pythons pay for itself? You might not get them all, but maybe they could be kept under control. I don’t like hunting myself, but I don’t want rare native wildlife threatened by an invasive species; and who could argue nowadays with cheap meat? And then there’s that pretty skin; I hear it makes nice boots.

  7. Dutchman Says:

    The solution is simple. Any and all non-indiginous animals, regardless of type, must be styrel, chipped with a GPS locator and the seller/buyer/owner held responsible for any and all injuries cause by these pests. They do it with dogs and cats why not sick, wierd and obnoxious pests like snakes non-indiginous lizzards and other foriegn pests/pet animals. We need to stop this nonsense, it’s bad enough when bears and big cats kill people let along snakes.

  8. Alice Says:

    Forest Gump (Sen. Nelson) is worried about snakes in Florida and he should be more worried about himself and his fellow democratic snakes in Washington. Not only will every electric bill skyrocket but the cost of just about everything we buy will increase. As the cost of doing business and production increases said costs will be passed along to the consumer. THIS CAP AND TRADE TAX IS A JOB KILLER. Obama and his Chicago gang of democrats own this failing economy now and it shows. The so called stimulus package was nothing more than a package of pork and it is failing as more and more jobs are lost. Obama said if we pass his stumulus package of pork unemployment would max out at 8% and now it’s 9.5% and soon to be 10-12% or higher. WE CERTAINLY CAN’T TRUST THEIR NUMBERS. Forest Gump needs to vote no on the Cap & Trade Tax but he will follow orders from Obama and his fellow socialists as usual.

  9. Todd Says:

    So one guy breaks the law and we should outlaw all reptiles. What about the responsible owners. There are a few out there. I guess since some one died driving drunk we should outlaw Liquor. The owner of the Python whose child was killed broke the law. And was negligent. He should be punished. But the law abiding citizen should not suffer from one persons illegal and stupid act. Or we could look at the many other things that are affecting the Florida Environment. Feral cats, meleuca trees, or the next Walmart that gets built and buries tons of Gopher Tortoises.

  10. Ming bucibei Says:

    many years way way too late to eradicate these snakes

    it is impossible now to get rid of them they are too well insulated into the environment

    nelson is an idiot

    ming bucibei

  11. William Dwyer Says:

    Mr. Burke:
    It seems odd that Floridians would wait for a U.S. Senator to speak out about a clear and present danger to both humans (and non-humans),who happen to venture into the ‘glades. The pythons are an exotic species not a native to Florida. That fact itself should be sufficient to authorize eradication efforts by
    whatever reasonable means without first having to petition the federal government for permission. Davy Crockett
    on encountering a ten-foot critter wouldn’t have bothered to ask.
    William Dwyer

  12. Darlene J. Johnson Says:

    I applaud what the Senator is doing. I have always thought that it is a bad idea to bring to this country species which are not native. I hope Senator Nelson succeeds with his plan. It is about time, and most importantly, it is Common Sense.

  13. Post On Politics » Blog Archive » Post on Politics - Says:

    [...] U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson yesterday asked Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to order the …. U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney jumped on the snake execution bandwagon yesterday as well, echoing Nelson’s request for a snake safari and the creation of a “black list” of undesirable creatures and a “green list” of more welcome visitors. [...]

  14. Alice Says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today’s bleak landscape.

    The administration’s annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama’s budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

    The release of the update – usually scheduled for mid-July – has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.

  15. V. Gardner Says:

    Since this is a very complex situation I think the solution needs to serve multiple issues. Some of the comments already posted have some very good ideas. 1.Require all non~native pets to have a GPS microchip. 2. Sell hunting licenses for non~native snakes and lizards in the Everglades so the state can generate revenue to help with the eradication effort. 3. Find a market that will purchase the captured non~native species. One possibility is the fashion business ~ snake skin shoes, purses and belts are high ticket items. 4. The State of Florida could create jobs for the unemployed and for persons serving time in prison to hunt the species in the Everglades.

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