Thursday, August 21, 2014

Battle for the Everglades: Vets Versus Pythons by ABC News

(MIAMI) -- In the Florida Everglades now, it’s vets-versus-pythons, as survivors of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wrestle with a different kind of foe: lethal Burmese pythons.

While Everglades National Park does not permit hunting, it has authorized some 30 agents -- mostly private individuals -- to find and remove pythons, park spokesperson Linda Friar tells ABC News. The snakes, which are not native to the park, are rapidly gobbling up small mammals, thereby reducing the number of species present, say wildlife experts.

One agent, says Friar, is Tom Rahill, 57, a U.S. vet who six years ago founded Swamp Apes, an outfit dedicated to helping other vets get over their residual war trauma by spending time in the wild. Members of the group, he tells ABC News, volunteer to remove trash and invasive species from the park. 

Rahill tells ABC News that his group, since 2008, has captured 150 snakes. Its goal, he says, is to bag at least 200 next year.

This article was produced by ABC News
June 11, 2014 By ALAN FARNHAM via Good Morning America
To read the whole article, visit this link.

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