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Invasive Pests Could Soon Be on The Menu in The Sunshine State

But is anyone going to eat it?

The State of Florida has long been a part of the American experience known for its wacky and wild happenstance.  This is a place where the local headlines have spawned their own genre of pop culture, and the stories that we’re told are far and away more bizarre than anywhere else in the country.

This is also a state where there have been plenty of issues with flora and fauna, as a number of invasive species continue to be introduced to an ecosystem ripe for their reproduction.

Officials in the Sunshine State are now considering allowing one such pest to be eaten, but it’ll take an army of strong stomachs to make a dent in the population.

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The predator might soon become the prey if Florida scientists can confirm that Burmese pythons — an extremely invasive species in the Everglades — are safe for us to eat.

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is collaborating with the Florida Department of Health to investigate the mercury levels in pythons to determine if they can be safely consumed. If so, the snakes may soon end up on restaurant menus and dinner tables across the state.

Pythons are nonvenomous constrictors primarily found in south Florida where they have posed a serious risk to native wildlife in the region. The snake is not native to the state, and began appearing in the Everglades in the 1980s when it was likely introduced as an escaped or released pet.

The FWC encourages residents to remove and humanely kill pythons when they can at any time during the year, and to report any sightings to officials.

Pythons have flourished in Florida of late, finding plenty of prey in the thick swamps of the southern state.  The nuisance animal has already created a bit of a cottage industry as well, with snake experts and hunters making a killing attempting to control the ever-increasing population.

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