Florida Plans Python Whacking Contest

The Python Challenge will take place in 2013, promises a $1,500 first prize

Burmese pythons presently constitute a threat to Florida's wildlife, primarily as a result of their being an invasive species that very much enjoys toying with this American state's natural balance.

However, the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission seems to have found a solution to this problem: a python-harvesting contest. The rules for this unusual competition are pretty straightforward and easy to comprehend.

Thus, those wishing to help rid Florida of its pythons by entering this contest need only make sure they get a so-called python permit from either the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission or other agencies, and then proceed to collecting as many pythons as they can.

The competition is set to take place between January 12 and February 10, and the person who captures the most Burmese pythons gets to go home packing an additional $1,500 (€1,145.59) in his/her wallet.

Moreover, the person who succeeds in capturing the biggest such snake wins a $1,000 (€763.72) prize.

“Increasing public awareness about Burmese pythons and how this invasive species is a threat to the Everglades ecosystem, including native wildlife, is the goal of the 2013 Python Challenge™,” reads the official website for this competition.

Furthermore, “Information collected from the harvested snakes, including their size and location, will contribute to the ongoing research and management programs currently addressing the Burmese python population in Florida.”

Prior to the competition, the people who have registered for it are to undergo training. This will make it easier for them to locate snakes in the wild and distinguish between Burmese python and the other such reptile species they come across.

Although attending these “classes” is not mandatory, the people who have organized them hope that most of those who chose to enter this competition will attend them.

As was to be expected, several conservationists do not really approve of this idea to encourage Floridians to slay as many pythons as they can, regardless of the fact that this species is an invasive one.

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