Photo: Python Challenge Finals
At least 50 snakes were captured in Florida’s Python Challenge, part of an effort to control an invasive species that has been ravaging native wildlife in the Everglades.
The final count from the month-long hunt will be announced on Saturday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino told Efe.
More than a thousand people registered to take part in the Python Challenge, vying for a $1,500 reward from the FWC for the person who caught the largest number of Burmese pythons.
Participation didn’t require a hunting license and competitors faced no restrictions on the type of weapon used.
No hunters were injured, though two young contestants had to be rescued by helicopter after they got lost in the Everglades.
The FWC views the event as a success, regardless of the final tally.
As many as 100,000 Burmese pythons are estimated to be in the Everglades, where they have all but wiped out native species in some areas. The problem stems from python owners who abandoned their pets in the vast “River of Grass.”