The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported Feb. 5 that 50 pythons have been nabbed by hunters so far during the monthlong Florida Python Challenge.
The challenge ends Feb. 10. The pythons are being processed and logged by the University of Florida.
“The 2013 Python Challenge is an unprecedented effort to focus public interest, support and direct involvement to help deal with Burmese pythons,” said FWC chairman Kenneth Wright. “The FWC is pleased that so many people are joining this earnest effort to limit the impact of this invasive species on Florida’s diverse native wildlife. Floridians and people from all across the United States truly care about the Florida Everglades, and they are clearly eager to help us better understand and solve this problem."
According to the FWC, more than 800 people registered to compete in the 2013 Python Challenge, which is a competition to see who can bring in the longest and the most Burmese pythons from designated public lands in south Florida.
For competitors, the FWC said the challenge is to harvest the well-camouflaged Burmese python, which can grow to more than 17 feet in the wild in Florida, with the chance of winning prizes of up to $1,500.