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Southeast Wildlife Officials Releasing Fake Snakes To Raise Awareness

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — If you happen to notice an increase in snakes around the state of Florida, don't worry. These guys won't bite you. Florida wildlife officials are releasing fake snakes around state landmarks to raise awareness about nonnative species.

The hunt began Tuesday and is part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Python Challenge to promote Everglades conservation efforts. The python removal competition in South Florida kicks off January 16 and ends February 14.

Officials hope the hunt will remind residents that they can get involved and help be part of the solution in dealing with invasive Florida species, like Burmese pythons.

Here in Texas, residents in Carson County are seeing an alarming abundance of rattlesnakes this year. Officials believe the heavy spring and fall rains have flushed the snakes out of their dens.

Rattlesnakes are especially dangerous because they're poisonous. Experts advise anyone bitten by a rattlesnake to seek medical attention immediately and not treat the wound themselves, since the venom breaks down tissue and, if not treated, could result in amputation.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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