Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Florida 2013 Python Challenge : 68 pythons found

There were 68 Burmese pythons found by participants during the 2013 Python Challenge held in the state of Florida. The objective of the event was to raise public awareness on Burmese pythons.

About 1,600 joined the python hunting competition that offered prizes of up to $1,500, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Officials say that the participants searched over a million acres of swamp.

The great number of participants and the 68 pythons caught during the event has surprised state officials. The event proved that Burmese pythons were not hard to find in the Everglades. Commission executive director Nick Wiley thanked all those who joined the event.

Thanks to the determination of Python Challenge competitors, we are able to gather invaluable information that will help refine and focus combined efforts to control pythons in the Everglades

Wildlife officials estimated that there are about 100,000 Burmese pythons that uses swamps outside Miami as their habitat. Residents started seeing pythons in the Everglades during the late ’70s. They suspect that these pythons were responsible for the missing rabbits, foxes, raccoon, opossum and bobcat.

The average length of the pythons found was six to nine feet. One of the hunters, Paul Shannon of Lehigh Acres, was able to find a python that stretches to 14 feet and three inches. He won $1,000 for finding the longest python. The most number of pythons, 18, was found by professional hunter Ruben Ramirez of Miami. In the amateur category, Brian Barrows of Fort Myers reportedly found six pythons. Both of them received the grand prize of $1,500 each.

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