HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) -- Florida is marking a milestone in its attempt to control an infestation of Burmese pythons in the Everglades.
The state has been paying a select group of hunters to kill the invasive snakes on state lands in South Florida since March 2017. On Tuesday, the 1,000th python collected in that program will be weighed in at the South Florida Water Management District's field office in Homestead.
Hunter Brian Hargrove collected the milestone snake. When the program began, Hargrove told The Associated Press he hated having to kill the pythons. But he wanted to help save wildlife in the beleaguered Everglades.
Pythons are blamed for declining mammal populations across the wetlands.
The hunting program initially was limited to Miami-Dade County but has been expanded into Broward and Collier counties as well.
Python Elimination Program: www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/python-program.