Spending the night in a potentially haunted hotel, attempting to channel ghosts must not have been a big enough thrill for Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody. He recently traveled to Southern Florida to spend time in swamps looking for pythons. Someone get this man (myth?) a reality show.
Inexplicably published on Yahoo!‘s politics blog “The Ticket” is a 2,000-word story by Moody on his trip to the Everglades, which is suffering a python infestation problem. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission launched a competition this year, according to Moody’s story, that offers money to people who catch the snakes. By paying a $25 fee and passing an online test, anybody can be certified as a python catcher. Moody himself did not get certified.
“I didn’t take a political angle on the piece, but it’s certainly there,” Moody explained to FishbowlDC. “The government of Florida is doing all they can to rid the Everglades of the species, and I found the competition to be a novel and fun approach. Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott endorsed the plan and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson even went on his own hunt. Bipartisanship!” He added that his experience covering Congress aided him in “writing about giant invasive snakes that no one wants around.” (Oh, that Moody.)
The sick details from Moody’s story on the catching process…
“Chopping off the python’s head can lead to a bloodied severed head bearing needle-sharp teeth chomping at your legs. A python brain can remain active for up to an hour after decapitation. Florida officials recommend killing the snake by firing a pressurized bolt into its brain or shooting it in the head with a gun.
“Catching the python by hand without a weapon offers a trio of hunters three unappealing choices: Be the sucker who takes on the head and gets a bite on the arm; the sucker who grabs the midsection and ends up with a snake wrapped around your neck; or the sucker in the back who will almost always be covered in urine and feces — a process known politely as “musking” a predator.”
In the story, Moody writes of wading into a swamp with a group of python catchers. They find what appears to be a 12-foot long snake but after getting close enough, realize it’s an alligator with only its tail sticking out of the water. This is some pretty serious “Call of the Wildman” sh*t.
Moody told us his experience in the hotel was “far more terrifying” than snake hunting. “Reptiles have had a bad rap since the dawn of time, but they’re not as mean as people make them out to be,” he said. (It’s worth knowing that Moody, prior to reporting on politics, was a commercial fisherman.)
Asked what he’d like to name his fictional reality TV show, he says he’s open to suggestions.