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Florida’s ‘Python Challenge’ returns in August

Lt Governor Python Hunting
This Monday, May 15, 2017, photo provided by the South Florida Water Management District shows Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera with a 15-foot-4 inch python caught in the Everglades in Florida. Cantera went python hunting with the district hunters. (Bobby Hill/South Florida Water Management District via AP)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY- Snakes beware, the annual Florida Python Challenge is back.

The ten day event where pro and novice hunters head into the Everglades to capture as many invasive Burmese pythons as they can will be held August 5-14 with top prizes of up to $2500 going to most successful hunter.

Speaking in western Miami-Dade County today, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the launch of the 2022 competition, saying that over 16,000 of the invasive snakes have been removed from the River of Grass thus far.

“The Everglades is one of the world’s most prized natural resources, and we have invested record funding for Everglades restoration projects, including record funding for removal of invasive Burmese pythons which wreak havoc on the ecosystem,” he said.

DeSantis also touted his own record on ‘Glades restoration, saying over $2 billion has been allotted for restoration projects and over 40 of those projects are now underway.

Registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge begins Thursday and is hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the South Florida Water Management District.

A cash prize of $2500 goes to the hunter who captures the most snakes, and $1500 goes to the hunter who brings in the longest snake.

Burmese Pythons have been plaguing the ecosystem of the Everglades for years, multiplying in droves and consuming the food sources of native species.

They likely were introduced into the environment as unwanted pets.

Register for the annual Python Challenge here.