Culture Beat / March 12, 2020

Veterans Fight PTSD by Hunting Pythons

A mission to save the Everglades and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress.

“Python hunter Tom Rahill … is the force behind Swamp Apes, an organization that takes war veterans to the Everglades to catch pythons as a way to ease combat trauma.”

“He recently caught python number 1,000 in a program run by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to eliminate the invasive snakes from the Everglades, where they are ravaging native animal populations. Now, Rahill, who is not a veteran himself, is planning to use the skins of pythons caught by veterans to produce wallets, boots and other accessories. It will be a way to generate revenue for Swamp Apes and finance Rahill’s dream to offer therapy to vets who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

“‘This idea is in its initial stages, but it would be a way to celebrate the beauty of the python and to use the animal for a good cause, while helping to control populations in the Everglades,’ said Rahill, who captured the milestone python last [October] in the Chekika region of Everglades National Park.”

Read more at Miami Herald.

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