About 800 sign up for Fla. 'python challenge' huntJanuary 12, 2013 @ 9:38 am
MIAMI (AP) - Nearly 800 people have signed up to hunt Burmese pythons on public lands in Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is holding a month-long "Python Challenge." Officials are offering cash prizes to whoever brings in the longest python and whoever bags the most pythons.
The hunt starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and ends at midnight Feb. 10.
The Burmese python is an invasive species that experts say is decimating native wildlife in the Florida Everglades. Florida currently prohibits possession or sale of the pythons for use as pets. Federal law bans the importing and selling the species.
For the first time, the public is joining licensed hunters in the search for the snakes. Officials hope the competition will help rid the Everglades of the invaders.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.