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DeSantis announces Burmese Python hunting contest in Everglades

There will be a $2,500 prize for catching the most pythons and $1,500 for the longest.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Vice Chair Mike Sole, "Alligator" Ron Bergeron, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Commission Chair Rodney Barreto announce the annual python hunt in the Everglades, which will start in July.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Vice Chair Mike Sole, "Alligator" Ron Bergeron, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Commission Chair Rodney Barreto announce the annual python hunt in the Everglades, which will start in July. [ Florida Channel ]
Published Jun. 3
Updated Jun. 3

MIAMI — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday the state’s annual contest for catching Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

The contest will run from July 9 to 18 and will include prizes for profession python hunters and novices. In both categories, there will be a $2,500 prize for catching the most pythons and $1,500 for the longest.

Related: Read about two St. Pete women who hunt pythons in the Everglades

The pythons, which can grow to 20 feet and 200 pounds, are descended from pets released starting five decades ago. The big serpents are overrunning the Everglades and have been devouring native mammal and bird populations.

Each adult female lays between 60 and 100 eggs per year. Once the snakes reach adulthood in about five years they have no Florida predators besides armed humans and the occasional sawgrass death match with an adult alligator.