Florida lt. governor joins python hunt in Everglades

THE EVERGLADES (WSVN/AP) — Florida’s lieutenant governor joined hunters paid by the state to stalk and shoot invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

South Florida Water Management District spokesman Randy Smith said Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera went hunting Monday night with one of 25 hunters hired to kill pythons on district property.

Smith said Tom Rahill and Lopez Cantera brought in a 15-foot-4-inch python. Three more pythons caught Tuesday brought the hunters’ total to 99 since March 25.

Rahill leads the “Swamp Apes” program, taking veterans on hunts to remove invasive animals from the Everglades. He took Lopez Cantera hunting along a canal in western Miami-Dade County, and the python was caught along a levee near Tamiami Trail, according to Smith.

The district is paying $8.10 an hour in a python-killing pilot program ending June 1. Florida’s wildlife agency also is hiring contractors to remove pythons from specific areas.

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