Last week I drove to Florida with my dog Bleu to see the launch of Florida’s much publicized python hunt. Over and over I raised the issue of the obvious cruelty involved in setting loose a herd of untrained and well-armed individuals (machetes, shotguns, .45’s) into the Everglades to hunt large pythons for money. From seasoned python hunters and experienced rescue personnel I heard, “This is idiocy.” From officials involved I heard, “We believe our training is adequate.” I also heard, “The point of this is to bring attention to the invasive species issue.”
I have an essay, Florida’s Great Snake Hunt is a Cheap Stunt, running today on NationalGeographic.com. I neglected to mention in it the number of TV production companies out there contacting me and other contestants hoping we’re “colorful” enough to make it on to their reality TV programs.
We have turned from watching wildlife as entertainment to the killing and mutilation of wildlife as entertainment. It is a shame, and shameful.