Florida congressman Francis Rooney helps kill 5 pythons in Everglades

Posted at 5:45 AM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 06:09:43-04

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - A Florida congressman helped catch and kill five invasive Burmese pythons during a nighttime hunt in the Everglades.

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney joined hunters hired by the South Florida Water Management District in the wetlands Thursday night.

In a Naples Daily News report, the Republican said the two largest snakes measured roughly 8 feet long.

The district started hiring hunters at minimum wage this year to remove the voracious snakes from the Everglades. Researchers say pythons are decimating populations of native mammals.

Rooney said it's important for the state to continue funding the hunting program because pythons pose a threat to Everglades restoration efforts.

He also said he'd like the U.S. Department of Interior to allow python hunting within Everglades National Park as well.