68 pythons caught during Python Challenge

Nearly 1,600 people participated in month-long hunt

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MIAMI - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the results of its Python Challenge Saturday to a crowd at Zoo Miami. Nearly 1,600 people from across the country harvested 68 of the snakes during the month-long competition.

The winner of the $1,500 grand prize went to Brian Barrows who harvested six pythons in the General Competition. Ruben Ramirez also won for his capture of 18 pythons in the Python Permit Holders Competition.

Bill Booth and Blake Russ tied for the second place prize of $750 by harvesting five pythons each.

The $1,000 first place prize for finding the longest Burmese python went to Paul Shannon. He captured a python that was 14-feet, 3-inches during the General Competition.

A second place prize of $750 went to Rigoberto Figueroa for the 14-foot, 2.3 inch long python he harvested.

Ramirez also walked away with another $1,750 for capturing both the longest and second-longest pythons in the Permit Holders Competition. Those snakes were 10-feet, 6.8 inches and 10-feet, 3.6 inches, respectively.

The Python Challenge ran from January 12 through February 10. Participants came from 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.

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