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Raschein Python Hunts in the Everglades

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Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 12:15 am

State Rep. Holly Raschein took part in the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Python Elimination Program on Monday, July 10.

While no snakes were eliminated on this hunt, Rep. Raschein experienced the program up close in the wilds of the 'Glades, including the summertime humidity, thick mosquitoes and an array of swamp creatures.

Rep. Raschein represents District 120 and is the Chairman of the Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee. Her constituency includes Monroe County and a portion of Miami-Dade County.

For the night-time hunt, she joined seasoned python hunters Tom Rahill, of Plantation, and Omar Gomez, of Miami. Rahill is the founder of Swamp Apes, a volunteer program that takes veterans hunting in the Everglades to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues stemming from their service. Gomez is a private wildlife trapper and a team member with the Swamp Apes organization.

To date, hunters have eliminated 235 pythons totaling more than 2,000 feet and over 5,000 pounds.

The hunt, predicated on bounties, began with a pilot program held March through June, encompassing parts of Miami-Dade County. In June, the SFWMD Governing Board renewed the

program through September and expanded it to Broward and Collier counties.

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