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Environment

Burmese Python Hunt In Everglades Returns This Summer, DeSantis Says

Python Action Team Record Snake
AP
/
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
In this Sept. 22, 2019 photo from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida trappers Jonathan Lopez, left, and Cynthia Downer pose with a record-setting python they captured at the Big Cypress National Preserve, west of Miam.

The pythons have been known to devour bird and mammal populations.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday the state’s annual contest for catching Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

Registrations are currently being taken on the Florida Python Challenge website.

The contest will run from July 9 to 18 and will include prizes for profession python hunters and novices.

In both categories, there will be a $2,500 prize for catching the most pythons and $1,500 for the longest.

The pythons can grow to 20 feet and 200 pounds. They are descended from pets released starting five decades ago.

The big serpents are overrunning the Everglades and have been devouring native mammal and bird populations.

Once the snakes reach adulthood they have no Florida predators besides armed humans and the occasional sawgrass death match with an adult alligator.

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