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Florida offers prizes for python hunters

Dec. 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM

DAVIE, Fla., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Florida wildlife officials are fighting Burmese pythons with a contest offering $1,000 and $1,500 prizes for catching the snakes.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said the 2013 Python Challenge, which begins Jan. 12, will offer $1,000 to the winner who catches the longest Burmese python on public hunting lands and $1,500 for the participant who catches the largest amount of the snakes, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.

Officials said Jan. 12 will feature a daylong open house on the pythons and other invasive species at the University of Florida's Davie campus.

"The (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission) is encouraging the public to get involved in helping us remove Burmese pythons from public lands in south Florida," said Kristen Sommers, head of the commission's Exotic Species Coordination Section. "By enlisting both the public and Florida's python permit holders in a month-long competitive harvesting of Burmese pythons, we hope to motivate more people to find and harvest these large, invasive snakes."

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