67ºF

'Python Challenge' in Everglades gets off to good start

FWC says 39 snakes caught in first week of month-long hunt

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MIAMI – A cold snap is apparently giving humans an early edge in a state-sanctioned public hunt for elusive Burmese pythons in Florida's Everglades.

A tally posted Friday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows 39 of the snakes have been caught in the first week of this year's "Python Challenge."

The first month-long python hunt on state lands in 2013 netted just 68 of the snakes.

The beginning of this year's hunt coincided with a dip in temperatures. Chilly weather can drive the tan, splotchy snakes from the wetlands where they're extremely hard to spot into the open as they seek warmth.

Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson says cool, sunny weather is good for hunting pythons because they're more likely to be found sunning themselves on levies or roads.