– [Swamp Ape] Alright, everybody ready? Just stretch him out. – This is a hatchling. This is a brand new snake. This was born this year, and
this is maybe a month old. Within five years, this’ll be 12-13 feet. It’s amazing how quick they grow. The Swamp Apes take
veterans into the Everglades to track and capture Burmese pythons. We help the veterans
overcome their challenges from their service. At the same time, the wilderness benefits from the removal of these animals. (gentle marimba music) My name is Tom Rahill. I
founded the Swamp Apes. The Swamp Apes are an organization dedicated to serving veterans
who serve in the wilderness. The Everglades is renowned
for it biological diversity, it’s under threat by the Burmese pythons. – [Swamp Ape] One more
python out of our Everglades. – The Burmese pythons have
decimated the mammal population; that’s their primary food source. It’s estimated that there
are over 100,000 pythons in the Everglades. The Swamp Apes have captured
and removed over 1,000 pythons. The Burmese pythons,
largely, were released by irresponsible pet owners. (Swamp Apes yelling) – [Swamp Ape] Hang on, we got something. – [Tom] A 15-foot python
could have 60 hatches, and it’s just an exponential problem. The hope is to remove enough
of the breeding females that we can severely
diminish the population. (upbeat music) During the wet season, which we’re in now, the technique for capturing
pythons is road-cruising. At night, when it’s a little
moist out, reptiles come out onto the road. We have a policy of live
capture with the pythons. We effectively jump on the pythons. – [Swamp Ape] That’s
a nice sized one, too. – [Tom] You grab them as soon
as you can behind the head. That business end of a
python can be very dangerous. We turn them over to the scientists; sadly, 99-percent of these
animals have to be euthanized. – That’s a whole population
of native critters that are being saved. – The Swamp Apes began in
2008, for me, as a tool to deal with some personal grief. When my wife moved to Arkansas
to take a teaching job, I’d only see her once every month or two. Consequently, I was hurtin’ emotionally. And I went and started volunteering in the Everglades National Park. I then was invited to join
the python eradication team, and at a certain point it occurred to me that this would be great for veterans also with PTSD and other challenges. The Swamp Apes are a unique program: we embrace the veteran skillset. Basic training for a veteran would include situational-awareness, threat-assessment,
self-reliance, chain-of-command, mission-focus. – You got your mojo working man. – [Tom] Once they get out of the service, they don’t necessarily have a place to apply the basic training, let alone specialized training. Swamp Apes use that training
and celebrate that training, and the veterans service, by
applying it to python removal. – [Swamp Ape] Why don’t you come with me? Ow, he bit my hand. – [Tom] We have positively
impacted hundreds of veterans with the program. They benefit from the natural
therapy of being out there, tracking, capturing, and
removing the pythons. (bird calling) – [Swamp Ape] Come on pretty girl. – Our ultimate goal is to have therapists accompany us, and be a
prescribable therapy organization. As noble and as effective as
the Swamp Apes are in engaging veterans, at the end of the day, we get to jump on big snakes. It’s awesome. (acoustic guitar strumming)

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Dennis Veasley

100 thoughts on “Why Military Veterans Are Hunting Pythons in the Everglades”

  1. I guess Burma 🇲🇲 needs to enforce their borders even harder if they’re letting so many goddamn pythons in the U.S.

  2. So, these are conservationists who are looking for pythons in the Everglades to increase the mammal population?

  3. Soooo.. If I provide you an address, would you be willing to capture a snake? I can also give her tinder profile.

  4. and last night on TV i saw a documentary on the Coypu/Nutria invasive species problem that started in Louisiana
    .. 20 pound, South American rodents — rats — introduced (escaped ) after a get-rich-quick scheme raising them for fur in the 1930s imploded
    .. they have become a major contributing factor in biodiversity loss, land loss to erosion — and have spread across US coastal areas, and abroad

  5. The most effective method to eradicate Pythons is to let Biotechnology people create Python females and males to gradually be asexual……………otherwise…….to let bioengineering scientists use methods to gradually genetically flaw the DNAs of pythons female and male so that they can give birth to less.

    So, as a result, they are completely exterminated not only in Florida but also in other areas, including various snakes and harmful animals that have been subjected to human hatred.

  6. These are amazing stories. Theres still great people out there. My hope is restores with each story you post. So inspirational

  7. Kill them bastards, and gars as well. I barely see any of my native wildlife anymore and it's causing problems in our ecosystems.

  8. If you are trapped or going to spend along time in the jungle, drinking a snakes blood is the actual substitute for water to stay hydrated. Now you know.

  9. Why don't american eat snake? The meat is a little chewy, but they taste pretty good and very healthy for you. I would eat it if they serve it at a restaurant at a decent price.

  10. Snakes: why can’t we eat we need to live…

    Humans: welll even thou we kill animals a lot we don’t care about snakes or other animals

    Snakes: well that’s mean…

  11. It is pythanophobia. They are killing "innocent" pythons just because they are pythons. America is for everyone. They have not "solid data and proofs" against these "cute and peace fool" pythons.It's cruel and inhuman. These "white supremacists" are against the diversity and liberalism.

    In the words of a pseudo liberal. 😝😝😝😝🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂

  12. Some dickhead had a burmese python as a pet at home and thought they were doing a good thing by letting it go in the everglades. DUMB STUPID MOVE!!!

  13. This is fantastic in every way! Thanks you for your service and for protecting our fragile environment.

  14. The Burmese pythons have decimated the mammal population, Humans like this TWAT have decimated every thing ELSE.

  15. I really hope the liberals in this country don’t catch wind of your organization because the name ‘swamp apes’ will trigger them. They will headline your story on CNN “racist ex-military on hunt to exterminate third-world snakes they say, ‘don’t have a right to be here’ “

  16. Guy: There’s 100,000 pythons that’s an exponential problem
    Same guy: we’ve removed 1,000 of them

    removed 1 percent of an exponential problem

  17. Surely if these vets just making do as a tiny non-profit can remove as much as 1% of the python population in the everglades, the US armed forces diverting some of the 598 and a half billion dollars they get a year could take care of the rest

  18. I virtually live in the middle of the Everglades. These things are a huge problem to our ecosystem and environment. This is an amazing thing and better then than my because I hate snakes!

  19. Our team is always on the hunt for the best food, gadgets, travel experiences and more. Check out everything we recommend this month: https://greatbig.is/2LgXvHr

  20. I think this program is fantastic!! Thank you all for your continuing service to the American people and our wildlife. God Bless

  21. They could sell all the Skins in Guanajuato Mexico the leather capital that would make some nice jackets from those snakes for a nice price ! America could actually get into exporting things for a profit besides empty cardboard d boxes from imports for for recycling and crying that we are broke !

    Americans need to make a few dollars !

  22. They know what they're doing makes no difference. The pthons are there to stay. Just guys that want to kill shit.

  23. I have a pet snake and I still agree that invasive species need to be controlled. Even if it's a cutie; feral cat, dogs, snakes and goldfish are all big pests if they start a wild population. I don't understand those who think invasive species deserve protection just because they think they are cute. Big picture people.

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