MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Forget the Super Bowl, a different kind of slithering competition is set to bring big prizes to the Sunshine State with the Florida Python Challenge.
The contest, which is open to hunters of all skill levels, is a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee and a number of public and private agencies.
The Florida 2020 Python Bowl kicks off Friday, Jan. 10, with competitors being tasked to remove Burmese pythons from specific areas of the Everglades. Those who catch the most and longest pythons in each skill category will be awarded what’s promised to be some impressive prizes.
“We need to get this snake under control so we can have a healthy environment in the Everglades,” says “Alligator Ron” Bergeron, a champion for Florida’s vast ecosystem.
Bergeron says the only way the billion-dollar Everglades restoration project can be successful is if pythons are eradicated. The non-native snakes can can grow to be 20 feet long and weigh 200 pounds.
“There’s a lot of invasive animals in the Everglades, but this one is extremely dangerous to the environment because it becomes top of the food chain.” said Bergeron.
For those who still don’t understand what’s so dangerous about the Everglades python invasion, Bergeron puts it simply.
“In Florida, especially South Florida, the Everglades is our drinking water.”
Entry rules and hunting tools for the Florida Python Challenge can be FOUND HERE.
An awards ceremony for the winners of the competition will be held Jan. 25 at Bayfront Park.