Pythons could be added to restaurant menus to cull out of control population

Some diners might soon be ordering snakes as local authorities investigate if pythons can be used as a new food source in order to help nature reserves.

In the US, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Deptartment of Health is conducing a study into the safety of snake meat in order to create a new dining experience for food enthusiasts.

And the idea of ordering snake at a restaurant – or even cooking up the reptiles at home – has an environmental bonus, as the snake population in the US state is said to be out of control and posing a risk to other wildlife in the area.

The only thing holding back government approval is whether or not pythons contain too much mercury in their meat for them to be considered safe for humans to eat.

Scientists will now test 6,000 pythons to assess the risk, TMZ reports.

Python meat is already considered a delicacy in some areas – with connoisseurs willing to spend up to $50 (£37) per pound of the snake meat.

A study in 2009, however, discovered that pythons from the Everglades area of Florida – the wetlands where people famously commute by hovercraft – had three times the mercury levels of native alligators.

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While a past US Geological Survey study found levels of mercury in pythons at 5.5 parts per million – noting that anything in fish above 1.5 parts per million is considered unsafe as a comparison.

Gordon Ramsay famously captured, killed, skinned, cooked and ate a Burmese python in Florida on his show, The F Word, in 2017.

A snake hunter who enjoyed the meal prepared by the chef at the time reported: “It tasted amazing.”

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