Firefighters Rescue Stranded, Ailing Python Hunters in Florida Everglades: Authorities

The men from Tennessee were in Florida to hunt pythons

Thursday, Feb 7, 2013  |  Updated 10:09 PM EDT
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Python Patrol in Pictures

AP

A Burmese python is displayed at the kick-off ceremonies in Davie on Jan. 12 for the 2013 Python Challenge organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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More than 700 people have signed up for the state s Python Challenge. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino spoke about what officials hope to learn about the predator.

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The 2013 Python Challenge kicked off Saturday, snatching people's attention from all across Florida and from many other states. NBC 6 reporter Donna Rapado has the story. Interviewed are FWC spokesman Jorge Pino and Kristina Serbesoff-King, of the Nature Conservancy.
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Two stranded and disoriented python hunters were rescued by a helicopter Thursday in the Everglades of northern Broward County, authorities said.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Regional Everglades units responded just before 4 p.m. to a call about the snake hunters stranded about 15 miles west of U.S. 27 on the northern border of the county, BSFR spokesman Mike Jachles said in a statement.

Those units and Broward Sheriff’s Office Air Rescue began searching, and about half an hour later the two men were spotted about two miles north of the L-5 Levee and 15 miles west of U.S. 27.

The helicopter landed in the Everglades and brought the wayward python hunters, ages 22 and 25, to the waiting rescue units about two miles away. The victims complained of lightheadedness and weakness, and were suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration, Jachles said.

Mild-Mannered Man Becomes Python-Hunting "Uncle Crocodile" at Night

Firefighter-paramedics treated both patients on the scene, and they refused to be taken to a hospital, he said.

The two men, from Tennessee, were in the Sunshine State to hunt pythons, Jachles said. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is currently holding its inaugural Python Challenge, which wraps up this weekend.

It’s believed the hunters were staying in their car in the Everglades while they searched for the snakes, Jachles said.

VIDEO: Senator Bill Nelson Goes on Python Hunting Expedition Into Everglades

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