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Florida Python Challenge Kicks Off With Almost 800 Participants

Today, the great state of Florida kicked off the 2013 Python Challenge, a 30-day contest sponsored by the state, meant to encourage hunters to exterminate the Burmese pythons, an invasive species that has been growing in large numbers in recent years, causing damage and destruction to native species living in the South Florida wetlands. Additionally, getting rid of the native species could keep the Burmese pythons from heading north, potentially even into the Carolinas.

Florida’s python problem has been at the forefront of news over the past several weeks. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation decided to take action via the Python Challenge, which will award the hunters who take down the most pythons and hunters who bring in the longest python with a cash prize. The challenge is split into two groups, with one group comprised of experienced hunters with special permits and the second group filled with amateurs.

Today was the first day of the 2013 Python Challenge in Florida, and The AP is reporting over 800 people from Florida and other states across the U.S., as well as Canada have signed up to participate. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have spoken out to say a captive bolt is the most effective and humane way to take down the invasive species, but other possibilities include a gun or a less effective machete. The challenge will run through midnight on February 10, 2013 and Pop Blend will be there to let you know whether or not the outcome is effective.

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.