DeSantis announces Burmese python hunting contest for July

Published: June 3, 2021 11:33 AM EDT
Updated: June 3, 2021 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: WINK News

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

The contest will run from July 9 to 18 and will include prizes for professional 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, which can grow to 20 feet and 200 pounds, are overrunning the Everglades and have been devouring native mammal and bird populations. Scientists estimate there are between 100,000 and 300,000 pythons in the Everglades.

Each adult female lays between 60 and 100 eggs per year. Once the snakes reach adulthood in about five years they have no Florida predators besides armed humans and the occasional sawgrass death match with an adult alligator.

Snake hunters hired by the state captured about 6,300 pythons over the last four years. Nearly 40% of that total was in 2020 alone.

Go to FLPythonChallenge.org to register for the competition and take the online training.