Florida’s Great Python Hunt Was A Bust. Maybe Coyotes Are Next?

Senior Writer

You know that Great Python Challenge that Florida hosted for the past month, with hunters from all over the country gathering to compete for a cash prize? It turned out to be a complete waste of time and now almost everyone involved is pissed off because they wasted more than $39,000 and walked away empty-handed. They didn’t even get any Mickey Mouse ears.

Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that approximately 50 pythons were killed in the Everglades, but they’ll announce the official number today at an award ceremony, during which the hunter(s) that killed the most snakes will be presented with a check for $1,500. Either way, that’s a seemingly low number for something that was advertised as such a big deal. I wonder why that is…

“The reason people aren’t catching that many is they don’t have a clue where to look,” Kenneth L. Krysko, a researcher at the University of Florida Museum of Natural History, told the Sun Sentinel. “Look at all the yahoos coming down here.”

Tales of drunkenness and shenanigans have abounded, including a few reports of Python Challenge “yahoos” taking pot shots at native animals they’re not supposed to be hunting. Another reason given for the skimpy snake count is that participants were not allowed to hunt in Everglades National Park proper, which is believed to be a non-native python hot spot. (Via Time)

The good news is that if those yahoos are still fuming over all that money they wasted and the lack of body count, they can make their ways to Orlando, where the coyote population is now out of control and no small pet is safe from them.

Rachel Pringle, shrieked at a coyote as it crept toward Cookie, the youngest of her two Yorkshire terriers. “Cookie,” she recalled yelling. “No!”

Though Cookie and Pringle’s other pet Yorkie, Toto, were in her yard, Pringle had made the mistake of taking her eyes off the little dogs. Her terrified shout spooked the coyote, which turned quickly in the darkness and bolted from the front yard to the side yard, where the other Yorkie stood. Just that fast, Toto was gone.

More than a year has passed since a coyote ran off with the Yorkie, and the coyotes seem emboldened, Pringle said. “Ever since then, it’s a common occurrence,” she said of coyotes in her yard. (Via Florida Times Union)

Many residents are turning to trappers; however, there are also simple DIY methods that homeowners can use including painting tunnels on the side of their houses or this much more effective trap:

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