Meet Ruben Ramirez, a python hunter who says he aims to rid Florida of the invasive species one snake at a time. With the increase in Burmese pythons, more and more people in Florida are looking forward to being able to hunt these reptiles themselves, especially after the state wildlife department opened the Everglades for hunting last year. Armed with guns, knives, and even captive bolts, hunters waded into the park and successfully harvested 68 of the large snakes. Some hunters, such as Ramirez, decided their bare hands are more than enough to capture one of the world’s largest pythons.
“When you come across a huge python and you’re by yourself, there is a danger if it happens to bite you, if you grab it the wrong way, it can crawl up around you if it’s a big snake, and it can kill you,” the python removal specialist said.
But it’s not just a job for Ramirez. In last year’s Python Challenge, Ramirez almost single-handedly harvested 18 pythons, over 12 percent of the contest’s overall count. Listen to this snake hunter recount his experiences below.