Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What could possibly go wrong?

"The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and its partners are launching the 2013 Python Challenge™ to enlist both the general public and python permit holders in a month-long harvest of Burmese pythons."
They're doing this because Burmese pythons are not native to Florida and are wreaking significant havoc on the state's ecosystem. No problem. We've got a vast array of rednecks and yahoos at our disposal. Let's throw them at the problem.
"The 2013 Python Challenge™ Kickoff on Saturday, Jan. 12 will include a 10 a.m. news conference announcing the competitive harvest of Burmese pythons. Both the General Competition and Python Permit Holders Competition will start that day at 1 p.m. The kickoff will be part of a public event held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the University of Florida Research and Education Center, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, FL 33314."
What's at stake?
"For the general public participating in the 2013 Python Challenge™ General Competition, there will be three prizes:

■A $1,500 Grand Prize for most Burmese pythons captured.

■A $1,000 prize for longest Burmese python captured.

■An additional prize, picked through a random drawing, for which all persons participating in this competition are eligible.

For python permit holders (people holding permits from FWC or other agencies to harvest pythons) who are participating in the 2013 Python Challenge™ Python Permit Holder Competition, there also will be three prizes:

■A $1,500 Grand Prize for most Burmese pythons captured.

■A $1,000 prize for longest Burmese python captured.

■An additional prize, picked through a random drawing, for which all python permit holders participating in this competition are eligible.

As our sponsorships grow, other prizes may be offered as part of the 2013 Python Challenge™."

Sweet! Any restrictions I should be aware of?

"DON’T dismember pythons into more than two pieces or they will not qualify for the “longest snake” category."
Hold on... don't get the idea that they're just going to open up the Everglades to anybody with a stick and a bag and say "Go git us some snakes!" That isn't going to happen. You have to be properly trained first. And that is accomplished by reading this PDF. I did it in about 10 minutes (I skimmed). And now that I'm fully trained to hunt and capture Burmese pythons, I'm going to get myself a hat, some binoculars and a wheeled cart of some sort, capable of holding a shitload of pythons, and cash in on some of that sweet, sweet snake bounty!

"In Florida, Burmese pythons have also been found above the ground using man-made structures and even trees and shrubs."
Wait a minute...  
"Wild individuals average 3.7 metres (12 feet) long, but may reach up to 5.74 metres (19 ft)."
Above me? In a tree or on a telephone pole? As I'm walking around underneath? 
"They are also excellent swimmers, being able to stay submerged for up to half an hour."
Sweet Jesus, they're like giant Navy SEALs!

"A paper published by the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, states that bird and coyote populations are threatened, as well as already-rare rival predatory species, such as Florida panthers."

These things eat panthers? Why wasn't this addressed in my PDF training? I'm not sure I want to tangle with something that can eat a panther. 
"Since pythons eat endangered birds and alligators, these snakes present a new and serious danger to the fragile ecosystem."
Alligators?!? You know how I feel about alligators!
"Like all snakes, Burmese Pythons are carnivorous. The snake uses its sharp rearward-pointing teeth to seize its prey, then wraps its body around the prey, at the same time contracting its muscles, killing the prey by constriction."

"After ingesting prey, the entire digestive system undergoes a massive remodelling, with rapid hypertrophy of the intestines, production of stomach acid, and a 40% increase in mass of the ventricles of the heart in order to fuel the digestive process."
Yeah. I'm out. Good luck.

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