Florida Python Challenge Not Going So Well

Only 11 Burmese pythons found so far by 800 hunters

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 17, 2013 7:30 AM CST

(Newser) – And they're off! Sort of. Florida's "Python Challenge" kicked off on Saturday, drawing 800 python hunters with big-snake and big-money dreams to southern Florida. But as the Daily Beast reports, the event hasn't exactly spelled doom for the creatures. By Monday, hunters had killed or captured 11—of the 1,500 believed to be out there. "It’s not like they’re hanging off of every tree," says one experienced hunter, who describes the pursuit as involving a lot of walking and looking at the ground. “For most people it gets pretty boring."

Consider his experience so far: "One day we went out for 12 hours and found nothing. The next day we went out again for 12 hours and the only thing we found was a desiccated python carcass. We covered over 30 miles in three days and 50 miles by boat." What's the allure? Love of the hunt, perhaps, and money: $1,000 to the hunter who kills the longest snake, and $1,500 to the person who snuffs out the most. He shares his trapping process with the Daily Beast; click to read more.

A Burmese python is coiled around the arm of hunter Michael Cole during a news conference Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 in the Florida Everglades where the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission announced a special...   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this November 14, 2009 photo provided by the University of Florida, University of Florida researchers hold a 162-pound Burmese python captured in Everglades National Park, Fla.   (AP Photo/ University of Florida, Michael R. Rochford)
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