Burmese python hunt in Florida Everglades slated for August | Lifestyles

MIAMI (AP) — Flanked by an enormous writhing snake, Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced on Thursday that the annual prize-winning hunt for invasive Burmese pythons within the Florida Everglades will start Aug. 5.

Individuals should register to participate and complete an online training course for the occasion, which usually attracts a whole lot from throughout the nation. Final yr’s “Python Challenge” concerned greater than 600 individuals from 25 states, DeSantis stated at a information convention within the Everglades.

Behind the Republican governor, it took three individuals to carry a stay, 10-foot (3-meter) feminine python as an illustration. The snakes have nearly no pure enemies within the Everglades and have decimated native populations of mammals, birds and different reptiles.

“These pythons are a threat to the Everglades,” DeSantis stated. “Let’s reel in some pythons.”

The hunt begins Aug. 5 at 8 a.m. and ends Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. Prizes embody $2,500 for essentially the most pythons captured and $1,500 for the longest snake. Final yr, the first-prize winner captured 223 pythons, whereas the $1,500 winner bagged a snake that was greater than 15 ft (4.5 meters) lengthy. Snakes should be killed humanely.

DeSantis stated this yr’s state funds consists of $3 million particularly for python elimination within the Everglades, together with expertise comparable to infrared sensors to find the hard-to-see snakes within the wild. A key level of the snake occasion, the governor stated, is to boost consciousness in regards to the risk and allow individuals to participate.

“We view this as a challenge,” he stated. “We really wanted to supercharge those efforts.”

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