(NSF/July 12, 2021) — The 2021 Florida Python Challenge started last Friday as part of a drive to eliminate the large snakes that threaten native wildlife in the Florida Everglades. For a total of ten days, competitors will seek the longest, heaviest and most Burmese pythons.
The hunt is taking place across more than 1.5 million acres in South and Southwest Florida, as the invasive snakes have become well-established in South Florida, largely as a result of escaped or released pets.
Kristen Sommers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the Python Challenge is part of a larger effort to control the invasive snakes.
“This is one of the management tools that we are using. So, it definitely helps remove pythons from the wild. Every python matters. Every python that we can remove, and engage the public to help us in those removal efforts, is helpful.”
It is estimated there could be tens of thousands of wild pythons living in and around the Everglades.
Cash prizes range from 750 dollars for the longest snake to a grand prize of 10-thousand-dollars for the person who kills the most pythons.
To learn more about the hunt, visit www.FLPythonChallenge.org.
(From The News Service of Florida)