Python hunt in Everglades nets just 68: organizers

Feb 17, 2013
A Burmese python is shown to the media at the start of the 2013 Python Challenge on January 12, 2013 in Davie, Florida. Hundreds of hunters spent a month combing Florida's Everglades for Burmese pythons, in the end capturing and killing 68 of the slithery, invasive reptiles, organizers said.

Hundreds of hunters spent a month combing Florida's Everglades for Burmese pythons, in the end capturing and killing 68 of the slithery, invasive reptiles, organizers said.

The longest was 14 feet and three inches, netting the hunter who brought it in a $1,000 prize.

The Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also announced winners of two $1,500 prizes for the hunters who killed the most Burmese pythons, an seen as a threat to the ' eco-system.

The total take was 68 Burmese pythons, said Nick Wiley, the FWC's executive director.

"In our view, that number was an unprecedented number of samples that would help us answer questions about pythons and make us more effective on removing them from the system," he said.

A Burmese python is seen on display at the start of the 2013 Python Challenge on January 12, 2013 in Davie, Florida. The first Burmese pythons in the Everglades are believed to have been household pets that escaped into the vast wetlands after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The snakes have rapidly reproduced since, and now outnumber native snakes

The first in the Everglades are believed to have been household pets that escaped into the vast wetlands after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The snakes have rapidly reproduced since, and now outnumber native snakes. Excellent swimmers, they are also at home in trees.

Scientists say they have been behind the falling numbers of small mammals—like weasels, raccoons, rabbits and wild rats—in the Everglades.

"Every python taken out of the system is a great benefit, and we know that it takes a significant investment of time to capture one python. As it does for any kind of hunting, it's not always easy," Wiley said.

As part of the campaign to combat the snakes, the WCC this year launched its first "Python Challenge," a month-long hunt that ran from January 10 to February 10.

"We didn't know what the actual interest would be, if people would really come and participate in this. Well, we know now: we had more than 600 participants from 38 states and even had people who signed up from Canada," Wiley said.

Anyone over 18 was allowed to participate for a $25 registration fee, and they could use the weapon of their choice so long as the were killed humanely.

The remains of the are being sent to the University of Florida to be studied.

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dschlink
3 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2013
This seems like a very small take for the number of people participating, but I suppose very few of the hunters had any experience with a wetland like the Everglades.
Maggnus
1.3 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2013
Ya that and unreal expectations of the numbers of snakes. Some seemed to think it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Shakescene21
4 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2013
However, it was not such a bad deal for the Florida Wildlife Conservation Service. They took in $15,000 in entry fees ($25x600) and only paid out $4,000 in prizes. The takeout of only 68 pythons was disappointing, but that worked out to only $59 in prize money per python.
Jonseer
4 / 5 (4) Feb 17, 2013
The low #s shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone, because they are NOCTURNAL predators.

Had they properly prepared the hunt, the sponsors would have read up on where they like to sleep during the day and told the participants.

No doubt a lot of hunters went out looking for something that was out and about even if not doing much rather than something that would be hidden, and out of sight like most nocturnal predators during the day in order to avoid becoming prey themselves as they sleep (or killed for whatever reason).
Cave_Man
2 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2013
People should learn to make lemonade, i mean, I bet those pythons taste great!
Caliban
2 / 5 (2) Feb 18, 2013
People should learn to make lemonade, i mean, I bet those pythons taste great!


Won't take long for that to become a reality. Do you see how much meat is on one of them?

I'm ready for a basket of Python'n'Chips right now!

horve
3.5 / 5 (2) Feb 18, 2013
It's not dead it's resting.