Python Bounty Hunter: Donna Kalil
The snakes that she’s hunting are the result of a good idea gone wrong. In the 1970s, the first Burmese pythons were imported from overseas as pets. They were a hit, and their numbers grew due to breeding programs and increased imports (importation has been banned since 2012). Released into the wild by their owners, they discovered an Eden in the Florida Everglades region, a place filled with food where they thrived. An apex predator, their only competition is large American crocodiles, alligators, and Florida panthers, and even those creatures can succumb to the pythons; nothing seems to stop them. The only other thing that can kill them in the wild is an extended hard freeze, which rarely happens this far south. They quickly took to the waterways and started to feed, and feed, and feed.