EVERGLADES, FL (WPTV/NBC News/WCMH) – First, it was frozen iguanas falling from trees and stunned sea turtles washing ashore. Now, the cold weather gripping much of the country is proving to be a boom for Florida snake wranglers.
Reptile hunter Dusty Crum says the cold temperatures are forcing pythons out of the waters where they normally hide, making them much easier to spot.
“They want to come get some of that sunshine in the morning. That’s what we did today, we went out from 8:30am to 2:30pm and we got three snakes,” Crum told WPTV after a successful Thursday hunt.
Pythons are an invasive species that started showing up in South Florida in the 1990’s, potentially after owners decided they no longer wanted the python as a pet and dumped them.
In March 2017, the South Florida Water Management District launched python control program. So far, a total of 822 snakes have been removed from the Everglades.
“I’m just really blessed and happy to be a part of the team,” Crum said. “We’re going to keep putting a dent in the population, one at a time.”