Registration opens for Florida Python Challenge, effort to protect Everglades: The cash prize you could win
MIAMI Fla. - Ever wanted to capture a snake for a good cause?
During a news conference in Miami Thursday morning, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that registration has opened for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge.
The challenge – hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Florida Water Management District – is part of an effort to help protect the Everglades habitat and the animals that call it their home, from invasive Burmese pythons. Officials said the snakes don't belong in the ecosystem and pose a threat to native wildlife.
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"This python challenge allows the public to engage direct, hands-on in Everglades restoration. You can win prizes, and of course you will be doing public service," DeSantis said.
Those who participate in the python removal challenge are eligible for cash prizes. For those who capture the "most pythons, you get $2,500 grand prize. The longest python, $1,500 grand prize, and we're also providing additional prizes for military and veterans who will participate," the governor added.
When a participant captures a Burmese python, they must drop off the humanely killed snake at official event check stations on the day of capture. If the snake is captured when the stations are closed, "they must chill or freeze the carcass and submit their dead python to an official check station within 24 hours of capture," the competition's website stated.
The challenge begins on Friday, Aug. 5 at 8 a.m. and ends Sunday, Aug. 14, at 5 p.m.
It costs $25 to register for the competition. To sign up, or for more information, visit www.flpythonchallenge.org.
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Participants do not need to be a Florida resident or have a Florida hunting license or a Wildlife Management Area permit, according to the challenge's website.
They will, however, be required to take the 30-minute online training.