TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida senator who doubles as a python hunter wants the state to pay private contractors to eradicate lizards, pythons and other non-native invasive species from the Everglades.
Republican Sen. Frank Artiles, who once hunted down a 9-foot Burmese python, said during a committee meeting Tuesday that such an effort is needed because "furry creatures" and American alligator nests are being destroyed by the pesky snakes.
Members of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources agreed and advanced the bill (SB 230) toward its final stop before heading to the full Senate.
The two-year, $600,000 pilot program would allow the state to hire python hunters to capture or kill non-native animals in public lands and waters. It would also require pet dealers to tag such animals before selling them.