Unnecessary Animal Torture
Burmese pythons are a species of nonvenomous snakes that are native to many parts of Southeast Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. Due to the recent popularity of the exotic pet trade, there are now numerous populations of wild Burmese pythons in South Florida. With these now considered an invasive species, wildlife officials in Florida have put a bounty on them with hunters receiving anywhere from $50 to $175 per snake. While this may be seen as a good way to help protect Florida’s native wildlife, it isn’t necessarily justice for the pythons and there are some real concerns as to why hunting them should not be encouraged.
Although it may appear that hunting is a good way to decrease the python’s population, the truth is that they come out of the hunt with a wide array of physical problems. Not only can they suffer abrasions or contusions when being tangled, held or recaptured but they can also be subject to more serious injuries such as cuts and tears to the scales, skin and even their organs. Also, as these animals are often declawed in the wild by predators such as hawks, eagles and alligators, when being relocated or moved, the scales can be damaged or impacted to the point where the python isn’t able to survive.
Exhaustion From Trauma
Not only can hunting Burmese pythons potentially cause physical damage to the creatures, but it can also result in them becoming exhausted and weak. These wild animals are naturally quite armoured and strong, but when a hunter comes face to face with one, this already exhausting process can be even worse. For instance, the python may be chased, wrestled, hooked, and then have to be carried. The entire process can be too much for the creature, leading to sky high levels of stress.
One of the other major issues with hunting Burmese pythons is the fact that hunters don’t have the necessary knowledge to capture and relocate these creatures in a humane and safe manner. For example, when they are being cornered, these animals can become incredibly aggressive, so the hunters then have to resort to any means necessary to capture it. It is certainly not uncommon to hear of people injuring themselves or the snake as well when trying to relocate them. This poses an even bigger risk since even with proper handling, the stress of being handled by unfamiliar people can lead to exhaustion and harm.
Relocation Is Unproductive
Finally, there is the issue of the relocation process of these wild snakes. Even if technically successful, relocating Burmese pythons is often not very effective in the long run. This is because the relocated snakes often have trouble in their new environment and don’t have enough time to acclimate before they are missed or snared again. So, while the hunters may take pride in emptying out one area, they may actually be taking part in an unproductive effort that has no real impact in the end.
Hunting Burmese pythons, regardless of the bounty that’s available, is a risky, unnecessary and dangerous task that often leads to more harm than good. Not only can these creatures suffer physical injuries and exhaustion from being handled, but hunters also lack the knowledge to capture them in a safe and humane manner. In addition, relocation efforts can often be fruitless in the long run. Therefore, while hunting may appear to be a good way to control their population, the truth is that it is far from that and is simply torture for these animals.
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