Cerabino: Burmese python hunt in Florida is fit to a T


So let me get this straight.

You find an enormous Burmese python slithering in one of Florida’s wetlands. Bravely, you confront the car-lengthed reptile, and using the guidelines provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, you opt to skip the “hand-capture” method, and go right for the “humane euthanasia” instruction, which involves a fatal blow or bullet to the head.

Congratulations! You now have become one of those rare Floridians who has played a role in dealing with one of the state’s most vexing invasive species.

And if your snake kill happened to be on one of the state’s 22 managed lands, you’re on your way to being a potential prize winner in the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Python Pickup Program.

“Anyone can participate, and people who submit proof of python with location of removal will be entered into a monthly drawing as well as a grand prize drawing in 2018,” the FWC website says.

Prizes!

Better get to submitting that proof. No need to bring the snake in.

Just snap a couple of photos of the dead snake, showing evidence of how it was killed, and most importantly, that it wasn’t some roadkill you stumbled on.

(You don’t get credit for finding roadkill.)

Then send an email to Pythons@MyFWC.com with “Python Pickup” in the subject line and photo attachments of the dead snake and the proof of the snake’s location through GPS.

If you’re not up for killing the snake, you can grab the live snake, put it in a bag and turn it in to an FWC office.

“Live pythons should be double bagged and placed into a secure container marked ‘dangerous reptiles,’” the instructions say.

OK, now it’s time for your reward.

“You will receive a T-shirt after your first proof of python submission has been accepted,” the instructions read.

Wait a second. All this rare success and follow-through for a lousy T-shirt. We were expecting something a little more grand here. At least a Red Lobster gift card. A Cross pen with the words “Snake Killer” on it. Something along those lines.

Finding and killing a Burmese python is the nature equivalent of winning the lottery. They’re very good at hiding and existing in places where humans can’t find them.

Beating the odds for a T-shirt seems like a severe case of under-gifting. After all, getting a T-shirt is the adult equivalent of the participation trophy that kids get for youth sports.

People who go to rock concerts get T-shirts. People who go on snake hunts, and actually catch snakes, need to get something better.

You’ve just either killed, or manhandled, a monster snake, and you get the same thing that somebody does for walking the route of a 5K fun run?

Maybe give T-shirts to all the hunters who don’t catch a snake. That sounds more fitting.

But wait. I’m not done reading the fine print on the Python Pickup Program prizes. There’s more.

“For each proof of python submitted, you will gain one entry into the current monthly prize drawing as well as the grand prize drawing,” it reads. “On the last Friday of each month, 2-3 raffle tickets will be drawn for the monthly prizes.”

OK, a grand prize of a lifetime Florida hunting and fishing license to one person. That’s something.

And monthly prizes to others. Now we’re talking. Like what?

A weekend at The Breakers hotel? Dinner for two at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach? VIP passes to the Daytona 500?

Nope. If you’re a lucky winner in the monthly prize drawing, you can get a 32-ounce stainless steel coffee mug with the Python Pickup Program logo on it.

To match the logo on your T-shirt.

There has to be something better than a mug and T-shirt, right?

Yes, you might get a $100 gasoline card, a backpack, a GPS device, a GoPro camera, or a storage locker.

Oh yeah, and in the lucky drawing, you can also win another Python Pickup Program T-shirt.

Or a 40-inch hook for catching snakes, which I guess is an incentive for you go back out there and look for more snakes.

After all, you can never have too many T-shirts.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

In Gardens, New York Times columnist affirms Jerusalem embassy move
In Gardens, New York Times columnist affirms Jerusalem embassy move

A New York Times columnist endorsed President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and spoke broadly about achieving peace in the Middle East during a Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County event Wednesday night. RELATED: How do local Jewish leaders feel about Trump’s Jerusalem decision? Bret Stephens...
Russell Simmons accused of rape by 3 more woman, but ‘vehemently’ denies it
Russell Simmons accused of rape by 3 more woman, but ‘vehemently’ denies it

Music mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons is “vehemently” denying he raped at least three women dating back to the late 1980s. The three women have stepped forward, accusing Simmons, 60, of a “pattern of violent sexual behavior,” including rape, between the late 1980s and 2014, according to the New York Times...
BREAKING: School Board OKs raises for all — from teachers to Avossa
BREAKING: School Board OKs raises for all — from teachers to Avossa

The Palm Beach County School Board unanimously agreed to give the district’s roughly 12,500 teachers raises of 3.2 percent on average, while other district employees from principals to bus mechanics will see their pay rise about 3 percent. Because Superintendent Robert Avossa’s raise was tied by contract to those of district administrators...
With campaign threatened, Boca mayor drops Batmasian business ties
With campaign threatened, Boca mayor drops Batmasian business ties

Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie announced late Tuesday that her husband had ended his business relationship with developers James and Marta Batmasian, cutting off a potential conflict of interest she has steadfastly denied since The Palm Beach Post detailed it in early November. Distancing herself from a business relationship that threatened her bid...
Boynton Beach woman whose dog, cat starved to death gets jail
Boynton Beach woman whose dog, cat starved to death gets jail

A 26-year-old woman whose dog and cat were found starved to death in her Boynton Beach apartment in May will have to spend the next six months in jail, a judge has ruled. Ashley Alicia on Wednesday pleaded guilty to two counts each of felony cruelty to animals and unlawful abandonment or confinement of animal for the deaths of her brown Pomeranian-Chihuahua...
More Stories