At Least 30 Dead In The Great Florida Python Whacking Day(s) Of 2013

We have to give Florida credit where it is due. When the year began, the fine folks in the Sunshine State really wanted to get an early lead on Ohio and Arizona for the country’s most insane news stories, so officials at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission actually encouraged people to travel from all over to kill as many Burmese pythons as they could in the Florida Everglades. It’s like Spring Break in January, only with less teeth and deodorant and a lot more brutality.

Having started on Jan. 12, this “Python Challenge” has just 14 days remaining, so I thought we’d take a moment to check in with the Aiken Standard and see how many of these one-time pets have been clobbered for the sake of preserving wildlife that will eventually be buried by apartment complexes.

More than 1,000 people signed up to hunt Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades, but just a fraction of them have been successful so far.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Friday that 30 of the invasive snakes have been killed in the competition that began Jan. 12.

Only 30? Oh no, that must mean that the hunters have to be sober. What about the politicians, though? Haven’t guys like Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose Diaz and Senator Bill Nelson been out there showing their constituents how it’s done?

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz spent Saturday dressed in camouflage gear, riding an air boat and hunting for pythons in the Everglades. And someone on his team actually caught one.

Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, took part in the python hunt last week, and brought reporters along, but returned empty-handed. That was before the weather cooled, which usually prompts pythons to leave the water and sun themselves. (Via the Miami Herald)

All right, Diaz! Now that’s how you ensure career politician status, by slaughtering a snake that’s just sitting there. As for Nelson, for shame. Even Mayor “Diamond” Joe Quimby was smart enough to bring pre-whacked snakes with him.

The person who kills the most pythons will take home $1,500, which seems like a small amount for all of the trouble that people are going to. Maybe if the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sweetened the deal and tossed in a date with Miss Florida Python Challenge 2013, the hunters might be more successful. Just look at her, fellas:

In the meantime, the cash prize is anyone’s to take home, so here is a quick training GIF in case you’re finally booking your airboat reservations.