Postcard from The Everglades

An exploding population of voracious Southeast Asian snakes is threatening the endangered fauna of the River of Grass. Florida goes to war against the python

Chris Salata / The Palm Beach Post / Zuma

Shawn Heflick holds a nine and a half foot Burmese python that he caught with Greg Graziani at Brown's Island in the Everglades west of Fort Lauderdale.

This is the everglades that they put in brochures. Summer rains have raised the waters, and lily pads blooming in the searing sun give the sprawling wetlands a Monet mood. But as his airboat glides through the saw grass 30 miles west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) commissioner Ron Bergeron is looking for the worst invasive menace to threaten the River of Grass since sugarcane and the Army Corps of Engineers. "They like to sneak onto islands like this one," says Bergeron, 65, a self-described "glades cracker" who has spent almost as much of his life out...

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