Sen. Nelson joins python hunt in Fla Everglades

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 9:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 9:13 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is blaming warm weather for an unsuccessful python hunt in the Everglades.

The Florida Democrat is among more than 1,000 people who signed up to hunt Burmese pythons during the month-long "Python Challenge."

On Thursday, Nelson sped over roughly 40 miles of sawgrass in an airboat piloted by state wildlife commissioner Ron Bergeron. They checked several isolated islands, but they came back empty-handed.

They encouraged other hunters to take advantage of colder temperatures that drive the snakes onto sunny surfaces.

Nelson championed a federal ban on the pythons. He says their voracious appetite for native wildlife threatens to undermine the ongoing, multimillion-dollar effort to restore a natural water flow in the Everglades.

Nelson also says he'd like to see python hunting allowed in Everglades National Park.

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