Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Applications just opened to become a paid python killer in South Florida

The pythons that have been taking over the Everglades may finally have an actual predator: a group of 25 Floridians paid by a state agency to kill them.

This is not your usual minimum-wage job. The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board is allowing those chosen to work up to eight hours a day at $8.10 an hour. But there are cash bonuses depending on the hunter's bounty.

The pilot programs runs for two months starting April 1. The agency just started accepting applications Friday morning, so if this sounds like your dream job, there's still time.

Officials will see if this actually curbs the growing problem.

The invasive species was likely introduced in Florida by accidental or intentional releases by pet owners. The massive snakes have become the top of the Everglades' food web, killing native prey and robbing panthers, bobcats and alligators of their needed meals.

In addition to the hourly wage, the state's python killers will get $50 for each snake measuring up to 4 feet and an additional $25 for every foot past that. Hunters can score another $100 for each python taken out that was found guarding a nest of eggs.

So what will it take to become a state-certified python killer?

You have to be 18, have an iPhone or Android phone (they require use of a GPS app), have a driver's license and have no felonies or wildlife-related offenses within the last five years.

And yes, you can use a gun to kill the snakes, but regular state and federal laws apply.

(A gun actually isn't required, according to the agency's website, but good luck killing an 8-foot-long snake without one.)

Also, experience will be considered — if this is your kind of thing.

We can't all be Bobby Hill — the state employee who has killed more pythons than any other — but now the regular citizens of Miami-Dade County can at least try.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

Applications just opened to become a paid python killer in South Florida 03/10/17 [Last modified: Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  2. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles

    Wildlife

    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]
  3. Photo of the Day for September 22, 2017 - Willets taking flight

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Dan Cleary of Madeira Beach, FL.

  4. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes

    College

    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  5. Puerto Rico could face months without electricity after Hurricane Maria (w/video)

    Hurricanes

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The eye of Hurricane Maria was nearing the Turks and Caicos early Friday as Puerto Rico sought to recover from the storm's devastation.

    A pregnant woman carries empty plastic bottles to collect water a day after the impact of Hurricane Maria, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, Thursday, September 21, 2017. As of Thursday evening, Maria was moving off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic with winds of 120 mph (195 kph). The storm was expected to approach the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas late Thursday and early Friday. [Associated Press]