Python challenge slithers into Florida Everglades

$10,000 up for grabs in prize money

McKayla Spencer, the Interagency Python Management Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) holds up a Burmese python during a news conference, Thursday, June 3, 2021, in the Florida Everglades. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state's annual python hunting contest on Thursday. It will run from July 9 to 18 and include prizes for both pros and novices. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The state’s annual hunt for pythons in the Everglades started Friday and will run until July 18.

The need for the hunt is important because Burmese pythons are an invasive species that can ruin the delicate Everglades.

Participants in Professional and Novice categories can win prizes for removing the most and longest pythons. A grand prize of $10,000 will be awarded to the person who removes the most pythons.

People interested in taking part in the hunt can register at FLPythonChallenge.org. There is a $25 registration fee and you must complete a free online training to compete.