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17 May, 2017 17:20

Florida's python hunters catch a monster in the Everglades (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Florida's python hunters catch a monster in the Everglades (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Giant Burmese pythons have become such a problem in south Florida that authorities have enlisted the help of military veterans to catch members of the non-native invasive species.

On Monday Florida’s Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera‏ teamed up with hunters paid by the state to track down and catch massive Burmese pythons that have become an apex predator, threatening other species in the Florida Everglades.

Lopez-Cantera and a volunteer wilderness alliance, known as “Swamp Apes”, tracked down a huge 15ft 4in (5 meter) python on Monday.

The lieutenant governor tweeted amazing footage of the capture, along with images showing the scale of the reptile, which did not give itself up easily.

The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board (SFWMD) is taking “aggressive action” to hunt down the snakes. The SFWMD pays willing hunters $8.10 an hour to hunt the reptiles with added bonuses depending on their size.

The pilot program seems to be working, with Monday’s catch being the 99th since the launch of the scheme on March 25.