Chris Moody files a dispatch from Florida, where hunters are encouraged to go after the Burmese python, an invasive species of snake “that can stretch to 23 feet and weigh 200 pounds”:
Chopping off the python’s head can lead to a bloodied severed head bearing needle-sharp teeth chomping at your legs. A python brain can remain active for up to an hour after decapitation. Florida officials recommend killing the snake by firing a pressurized bolt into its brain or shooting it in the head with a gun.
Catching the python by hand without a weapon offers a trio of hunters three unappealing choices: Be the sucker who takes on the head and gets a bite on the arm; the sucker who grabs the midsection and ends up with a snake wrapped around your neck; or the sucker in the back who will almost always be covered in urine and feces — a process known politely as “musking” a predator.-
(Photo: BR Slocum carries a snake catcher as he hunts for python’s in the Florida Everglades on the first day of the 2013 Python Challenge on January 12, 2013 in Miami, Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its partners launched the month long 2013 Python Challenge to harvest Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades, a species that is not native to Florida.The contest features prizes of $1,000 for catching the longest snake and $1,500 for catching the most. By Joe Raedle/Getty Images)