Python Challenge: Florida Snake Hunters Compete for Cash Prizes

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Beginning January 12, hunters are embarking on a so-called "Python Challenge" presented by wildlife officials in hopes of reducing the Burmese python population in the South Florida wetlands, according to ABC News.

Those who are skilled enough to snag one of the invasive species can win up to $1,500. An additional $1,000 will be given to the person who captures the longest python. This is the first time Florida has ever invited the public to participate in a head-on approach to thwart the Burmese python population.

Burmese pythons have been known to grow up to 26 feet in their native South Asia. However, the longest python found in Florida was 17 feet long. Carli Segelson, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson, believes that the contest will not only achieve eradication, but also documentation of the pythons.

"Our goal is to help get rid of the python from the wild, educate the public about the snake's impact on the Florida ecosystem, and inform them of what impacts non-native pets can have if allowed into the wild," Segelson said.

This challenge is not just good news for the Florida Wildlife Commission, it is good (albeit controversial) news for clothing, accessory and furniture companies who use python skins for their products. A company in Hollywood, Florida, intend to buy the python skins from the hunters.

To learn more about the contest, click to see the website.


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The challenge is DUMB, instead put a bounty on the python all year around. $20 per snake should do it. Look what bounties did to the wolves. Let the hunter keep the carcass and remove the head to prevent scams. Let the hunter be liable for himself. Make training available but not mandatory.

January 13 2013 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i am rooting for the snakes to win the contest

December 18 2012 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Reading these comments make me shake my head.

Should burms be in the Everglades? No.
Is this the right way to go about trying to remove them? Maybe.
But are these snakes horrible monsters, out to spread all over the US and eat you? No.

Read up on some facts about these giants before you accuse them based on fear and lack of knowledge.

These snakes aren't going to move up out of Florida. The chances of encountering one are minimal and more then likely even a 20ft snake just wants to get away from you. If anything now that we'll have a bunch of untrained people trying to jump on 6-17ft snakes like the Croc Hunter... we might end up with someone getting killed. A 6ft burm can EASILY overpower a full grown, in shape man.

However as pets and when worked with correctly, these animals are amazing. I'm a 5'1" 110lb female. My burm is almost 3x as long as me and weighs about 50lbs more than I.

She's a great ambassador to the children I work with. Calm, tolerant, and chances of her killing me are slim to none. I worry more when I stand in front of a vending machine... vending machines kill more people per year then large constrictors have in the past 10.

Just saying.

December 18 2012 at 10:22 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Arabs taste bad.

December 18 2012 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Arabs taste bad

December 18 2012 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah...let's just send people into the Everglades to go snake-hunting. No training...just a truck, a case of beer on ice, and a gun.

What kind of TRAINING are these people going to get before they venture into an environment infested with alligators, pythons, and other predatory creatures?

Are you at least going to tell them NOT to go hunting in there alone and get some TRAINING first?????

December 18 2012 at 6:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jo's comment

It's called natural selection. Only the smart and strong will survive. If they are stupid enough to go out there and get eaten by alligators than they are too stupid to breed. I say its a win win.

December 18 2012 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, let me get this right, they want people - to use guns (the most humane way, according to their web-site) and shoot these pythons in the head. Yet, everyone is yelling for us to get rid of our guns? So, if we didn't have our guns, we should go python hunting with? shovels? stomp on them - all 17 feet of them? I am sure they can trap some of them, but if they are coming toward you - say like someone breaking into your house? What would you prefer? A gun? A Shovel? Or just stomp on them?

December 17 2012 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marcy's comment

Ironic, isn't it?

December 18 2012 at 6:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Fondren

I feel pythons and boa constrictors should not be allowed as pets. When they escape or released they become predators. These snakes have just about wiped out the natural fauna of the Everglades and now moving into human habitats.

December 17 2012 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

lol. can you eat them?

December 17 2012 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
walter durling

Papa - Joe is right on!

December 14 2012 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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