MIAMI — The numbers are relatively modest, and they didn't change much in the last weekend of the Florida Everglades Python Challenge, but event sponsors are calling it a great success.
Reports as of Friday were that 50 Burmese pythons had been captured during the monthlong chase that ended at midnight Saturday. On Sunday evening, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said he was not aware that the total had increased.
He called ridding the Everglades of any of the hugely invasive predators that have caused havoc with the e ecosystem nothing short of fantastic.
“You can argue it's not a huge number, but it's 50 pythons not in the ecosystem causing havoc,” Pino said.
Hunters had to register with the wildlife commission, take a quick online course and follow specific humane rules the commission determined were best fit to kill the Southeast Asian natives that can grow nearly 20 feet long. The pythons can be legally killed only by a gunshot to the head or by beheading with a machete.
No one knows how the Burmese python made its way to South Florida, but it has been around for decades and multiplying at an alarming rate.
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