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Florida Starts Python-Hunting Contest, Risks Lives

Floridians, get those machetes ready: Snake-hunting season is around the corner.

In an effort to reduce the out-of-control, invasive burmese python population, the Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced the four-week 2013 Python Challenge. A $1,500 grand prize will be awarded to the Floridian who kills the most pythons.

The pythons, native to Southeast Asia, have destroyed nearly 99 percent of fox, bobcat, and possum populations in the Everglades, according to a study published earlier this year. The pythons are thought to have been brought to the States as pets and then released into the wild, leading to a population in the tens of thousands.

Participants will pay a $25 entrance fee and take an online training course to enter the hunt on Jan. 12. For Florida’s sake, let’s hope this ends in more snake deaths than human deaths