The 2022 Florida Python Challenge starts tomorrow, as part of a drive to eliminate the large snakes that threaten native wildlife in the Florida Everglades.
Over the next ten days, competitors will seek the longest and most Burmese pythons.
Cash prizes range from $1,500 for the longest snake to a grand prize of $2,500 for the person who kills the most pythons.
The invasive snakes have become well-established in South Florida, largely as a result of escaped or released pets.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto says the Python Challenge is part of a larger effort to control the invasive snakes.
“We’re excited about eradicating this python from the Everglades. There is so much money being put into the Everglades to restore it, we need to make sure that once that’s complete, that we eradicate this non-native animal.”
It is estimated there could be tens of thousands of Burmese pythons living in and around the Everglades.
More than sixteen-thousand of the snakes have been removed since 2000.