NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - A Florida congressman helped catch and kill five invasive Burmese pythons during a nighttime hunt in the Everglades.
U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney joined hunters hired by the South Florida Water Management District in the wetlands Thursday night.
In a Naples Daily News report, the Republican said the two largest snakes measured roughly 8 feet long.
The district started hiring hunters at minimum wage this year to remove the voracious snakes from the Everglades. Researchers say pythons are decimating populations of native mammals.
Rooney said it's important for the state to continue funding the hunting program because pythons pose a threat to Everglades restoration efforts.
He also said he'd like the U.S. Department of Interior to allow python hunting within Everglades National Park as well.
Thank you @SFWMD for allowing me to hunt pythons. A big thank you to Geoff and Kyle our local hunter experts. Same time next week? #TheHunt pic.twitter.com/BRTWebHwXp— Francis Rooney (@RepRooney) August 11, 2017
Thank you @SFWMD for allowing me to hunt pythons. A big thank you to Geoff and Kyle our local hunter experts. Same time next week? #TheHunt pic.twitter.com/BRTWebHwXp