More than 550 hunters from 30 states have signed up for a contest called the “Python Challenge,” which begins Jan. 12 and ends Feb.10; Offering $5,000 in prize money for those who slay the longest and largest number of the invasive snakes. They’ll travel 1.3 million acres (526,091 hectares), including part of the Everglades National Park, looking for snakes that the state says threaten the ecosystem and native wildlife.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Federal, state and local governments have spent more than $6 million in Florida since 2005 trying to control pythons and other invasive constrictor snakes. Therefore, this new contest sounds like a cheaper solution to their problem. Hunters can have a good time and the state can spend less money on trying to control the snake problem.
This solution may sound a bit cruel, but there are an estimated 30,000 pythons in the Florida Everglades, according the National Park Service website. Also, since 1995 the numbers have “increased dramatically,” according to the park service.
Whether one may agree with it or not in the end what they want is to lower the snake population, but also when the contest ends scientist at the State Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission hope that they can gather some useful information that may provide useful data that can show where the snakes are living and what they’re eating. This information can then help with future removal programs.