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2023 Python Challenge underway in Everglades

2023 Python Challenge underway in Everglades
2023 Python Challenge underway in Everglades 00:28

MIAMI - Are you up for the challenge of nabbing some of the biggest snakes in the Everglades? The 2023 Florida Python Challenge is now underway. 

Participants this year will have the chance to win a share of more than $30,000 in prizes while removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. Cash prizes are offered to hunters in two categories - the longest python captured and the most pythons removed.

Those interested in taking part must complete the required online training to compete in the 10-day competition which runs August 4-13, 2023. The cost to participate in the hunt is $25. Competitors can only remove Burmese pythons from participating areas.  

Burmese pythons are not native to Florida and they negatively impact native wildlife. This invasive species is found primarily in and around the Everglades ecosystem in south Florida where they prey on birds, mammals, and other reptiles. A female Burmese python may lay 50 to 100 eggs at a time.

During the 2022 Florida Python Challenge, 231 invasive Burmese pythons were removed from the Everglades, an increase from the 2021 number and more than double those removed in 2020. Nearly 1,000 people from 32 states, Canada, and Latvia registered to take part in the 10-day competition in 2022.

Burmese pythons can grow up to 30 feet in length, the average size removed in Florida is eight to 10 feet. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife estimates there are between 100,000 to 300,000 Burmese pythons in the Everglades and they need help getting rid of them. Since 2000, more than 18,000 Burmese pythons have been removed.

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