Heard on the Hill

Francis Rooney: Python Hunter

Freshman Republican congressman killed five of the invasive species in the Everglades

Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., posted photographs and video  on Twitter with the hashtag #TheHunt. (Rep. Francis Rooney via Twitter)

What did you do during the August recess? Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., went python hunting in the Everglades and helped catch and kill five of the invasive snakes.

Rooney hunted in the Everglades on Thursday night with other hunters hired by the South Florida Water Management District to remove the snakes, which are decimating the population of native mammals, the Naples Daily News reported.

The trip lasted for about 4½ hours and killed two snakes that were about 8 feet long, two medium-sized ones, and one small one, the newspaper reported.

In July, he announced he would be participating in the “Python Elimination Program,” in the Big Cypress Swamp, a national preserve in south Florida, to catch the Burmese python.

The freshman congress tweeted photographs and videos from the trip with the hashtag #TheHunt.

On Monday the congressman posted an op-ed titled “On the hunt to save the Everglades” calling for changing laws in national parks to combat invasive species.


“Hunters need freedom to pursue these invasive species in whatever manner will most effectively eliminate them, wherever they are,” Rooney wrote. “In addition to invasive pythons, the Everglades faces further challenges. Invasive plant species threaten the tree islands.”

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