Python sniffing pups: Two dogs trained to track down invasive snakes in the Florida Everglades

Truman and Eleanor put their noses to the ground and sniff out slinky creatures that would make most people scream.

The pair of pups are the first members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Detector Dog Team trained to sniff out invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

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FWC said Truman, a black Lab, and Eleanor, a point setter, go out with their handlers five days a week to try to track down the snakes, which pose a threat to native wildlife.

When either dog catches the scent of a python, they follow that scent until they are within about 3 feet of the snake and then alert their handler. FWC said the dog and handler then back away from the area, clearing the way for the FWC biologist to pinpoint the exact location so they can safely catch and remove the python from the wild.

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Truman earned his “good boy” title sniffing out the team’s first python in the wild last week – a hefty 8-foot long male.

Click here to read more about the program.

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Watch video of the dogs in action below:

Sniffing out pythons!

Sniffing out pythons! Meet Truman and Eleanor: two very good dogs who are helping us track down invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades as part of our detector dog program. Watch as both dogs and humans train in the field. Training matters! Truman sniffed out the team’s very first python in the wild! More about our Detector Dogs Team: More about invasive Burmese pythons: Download this video Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis for his leadership in managing invasive species. #Snake #FWC2020 #Dogs

Posted by MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife on Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.