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FWC study could lead to adding python to the menu

Eating the invasive snake might help save Florida's ecosystems.
Credit: AP
FILE: Burmese python (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

TAMPA, Fla — Python pasta, anyone?-- Or maybe you're more of a jerky person.

Eating the invasive snake could help save Florida's ecosystems, according to WINK News.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking into ways to get the invasive species out of the Sunshine State for good-- and that might include serving some up for dinner. 

But, there are a few things people should know before cooking up a python.

FWC and the Florida Department of Health are looking at the mercury levels in the snakes and possibly issuing an advisory on how to safely eat them, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Python hunter Donna Kalil told WINK News she's caught hundreds of pythons in the Everglades and has cooked up a few. 

“I’ve made pasta. I’ve made chili and stir fry, all sorts of different dishes with them,” Kalil said told WINK news. 

Kalil told the Palm Beach Post she only eats python a few times a year and used a mercury kit to check its levels. 

Pythons are not the only invasive special on the menu in Florida.

The state has also asked people to give lionfish a try. Lionfish are a non-native, invasive species. They belong in the Pacific Ocean. 

RELATED: How lionfish are the scourge of the Gulf of Mexico

FWC and the South Florida Water Management District teamed up to remove Burmese pythons from the wild. They say this is important because the snakes are not native to Florida and they can harm the ecosystem in the Everglades.

Invasive Burmese pythons eat small mammal populations in the Everglades. Breeders and owners introduced pythons to the Everglades by dumping the unwanted snakes into the wild. 

It is illegal for anyone to release non-native species, such as Burmese pythons, into the wild. FWC says owners who violate this law are responsible for most of the snakes that are harmful to the Everglades.

RELATED: Thousands of invasive pythons removed from Florida Everglades

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