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Mike Kimmel - 1st place most pythons removed Pro, removed eight pythons. Credit: FWC Photo by Avery Bristol

Participants remove 80 pythons during inaugural Florida Python Challenge

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state put up the challenge to remove exotic-invasive snakes from our environment, and hundreds of people nationwide answered the call.

The Florida Python Challenge 2020 Python Bowl results are in, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirms 80 Burmese pythons were removed by participants from the Everglades in January.

FWC and South Florida Water Management District jointly announced the winners of the python challenge during the 2020 Python Bowl award ceremony at the Super Bowl Live event in Miami.

OFFICIAL 2020 PYTHON RESULTS

Most Pythons

Pro grand prize winner Mike Kimmel won a TRACKER 570 Off Road ATV for removing eight pythons.

  • Rookie grand prize winner Kristian Hernandez won a TRACKER 570 Off Road ATV for removing six pythons
  • Pro second prize winner Lindsey Floyd won $750 for removing six pythons
  • Rookie second prize winner Ethan O’Neil won $750 for removing four pythons
  • Active service member or veteran winner Barry Offenburger (U.S. Army) won $1,000 for removing three pythons

Longest Python

  • Pro grand prize winner Tom Rahill won $2,000 for a 12-foot, 7.3-inch
  • Rookie grand prize winner Kristian Hernandez won $2,000 for an 11-foot, 6.5-inch python
    Pro second prize winner Amy Siewe won $750 for a 10-foot, 7-inch python
  • Rookie second prize winner Dave Mucci won $750 for an 11-foot, .08-inch python
  • Active service member or veteran winner Dave Mucci (U.S. Air Force) won $1,000 for an 11-foot, .08-inch python

Heaviest Python

  • Pro grand prize winner Tom Rahill won $2,000 for a 62-pound python
  • Rookie grand prize winner Dave Mucci won $2,000 for a 49.4-pound python
  • Pro second prize winner Dustin Crum won $750 for a 9-pound python
  • Rookie second prize winner Kristian Hernandez won $750 for a 1-pound python
  • Active service member or veteran winner Dave Mucci (U.S. Air Force) won $1,000 for a 49.4-pound python

According to FWC, More than 750 people from 20 states registered to take part in the 10-day competition to remove pythons, which are decimating native wildlife populations in the Everglades. Those who registered passed a mandatory online training. Another 550 people took part in hands-on, optional safe-capture trainings that taught them how to identify, locate, and safely and humanely capture these snakes.

In addition to the Florida Python Challenge, there are several ways people can continue to help control nonnative species such as Burmese pythons. Anyone can hunt pythons any time on private lands with landowner permission and on 22 public lands throughout South Florida. People can also take part in ongoing python patrol trainings to learn more about how to identify and capture Burmese pythons in the wild.

MORE: FWC – Burmese pythons in Florida

FWC says the public can also help control invasive species by reporting nonnative fish and wildlife to the FWC’s Invasive Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681), by reporting sightings online at IveGot1.org or by downloading the IveGot1 smartphone app.

Writer:WINK News
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