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Python: Florida Hunt Brings in 17 Invasive Snakes So Far

Jan 20, 2016 02:20 PM EST

In an effort to rein in one of the U.S.'s most clear-cut cases of an invasive species running rampant, Florida's hunting challenge for Burmese pythons has brought in 17 of the massive snakes from the state's wetlands in less than a week, according to an article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel

The python hunt began last Saturday, run by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It is the second annual hunt, and the previous one was three years ago.That earlier effort netted 68 snakes, although the FFWCC hopes to gather more of the invasive snakes this time, according to a Fox News article. 

Since 2002, wildlife officials have removed 2,000 pythons from the Everglades National Park and its surrounding area -- and those are considered likely to be only a fraction of the python population, according to the National Park Service website

The snakes grow to 16 to 23 feet and are present in Florida as the result of accidental or intentional release by pet owners. Their mottled skin blends perfectly with the terrain of Florida's wetlands. They also have been known to eat alligators, and can live up to 25 years in the wild. 

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-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales


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