Make us your home page

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 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

  1. Criticism part of the game for Bucs' Gerald McCoy, who is chasing 'ghosts'


    Who crossed the line with their criticism of Gerald McCoy?

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy jokes with teammates during the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  2. Police make arrest in murder of 20-year-old Tampa man


    TAMPA — A 20-year-old Tampa man has been arrested and charged with felony murder after a fatal shooting during a drug deal at a north Tampa apartment complex this week, records show.

  3. Tampa man arrested in fatal shooting at apartment complex


    TAMPA — A Tampa man faces a first-degree murder charge in a fatal shooting at a north Tampa apartment complex on Wednesday.

    Alexeis Perez, 20, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Antonio Roman on July 26, 2017, at Tzadik Oaks, 1250 E 113th Ave., in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Wimauma motorcyclist killed in Hillsborough County crash


    A Wimauma motorcyclist was killed Thursday night in a crash in Hillsborough County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. 3 wonderfully weird shows premiering next week: 'The Lowe Files,' 'What Would Diplo Do?' 'Comrade Detective'


    It seems like nothing is off limits on TV these days. Next week, three new shows air that I can't believe are really happening. They're all weird in their own ways, and I'm delighted. But let's be honest, at the point I'd probably watch a TV show about people coming up with TV shows. America has spoken, and we'll watch …

    Matthew, from left, Rob, and John Owen Lowe explore supernatural legends in A&E's new reality show "The Lowe Files."