Florida has had its share of python invasions and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is trying to find ways to fend off that threat. It appears they have a new initiative that will be anchored on canines.

ABC News reported that the FWC will have a new weapon against the Burmese pythons who continue to be one of the biggest and most concerning invasive species in Florida. It is known as the Detector Dog Team program which technically speaks for its self.

The task is evident, help handlers in removing pythons from the wild. The two dogs who are in the spotlight are named Truman the black labrador and Eleanor the point setter.

For some, detector dogs may be nothing new. These are canines properly trained to detect anything from bed bugs to sea turtle nests. But from those, helping in the fight against pythons is new and perhaps their best challenge yet.

“Python-scented towels and live pythons with surgically implanted trackers were used to train the dogs on python scent,” the FWC said in a statement. “The dogs were also trained to ignore distractions, such as other live animals, when working in an outdoor environment and worked on building up their stamina so they do not tire easily in the field.”

Truman and Eleanor go out five days a week together with a handler and an FWC biologist to look for pythons in public lands across Florida. These snakes are known for hunting down mammals, birds and other reptiles for food.

Some mammals have declined in numbers at the Everglades National Park and Burmese pythons are believed to be the reason behind that.

Per the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a study from 2012 found that populations of raccoons had dropped 99.3%, opossums 98.9% and bobcats 87.5% since 1997.

“Marsh rabbits, cottontail rabbits, and foxes effectively disappeared,” the USGS said. “The mammals that have declined most significantly have been regularly found in the stomachs of Burmese Pythons removed from Everglades National Park and elsewhere in Florida.”

19, foot, python, killed, biggest florida, burmese
Image Credit: Creative Commons (A Bu

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.