A Burmese python. Photo courtesy Kevin Enge/FWC
MIAMI, Florida (AP) - More than 1,500 participants of a monthlong python challenge have helped to capture 50 Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission updated the counts Tuesday for the "Python Challenge." The competition began January 12 and ends February 10.
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The invasive snakes killed in the Everglades are processed and logged by University of Florida researchers who examine each one hoping to learn more about the elusive species.
No one knows for sure how many pythons live in South Florida. Wildlife officials say eradicating pythons from the Everglades was never the goal of the challenge. Instead, they hoped to raise awareness about the snake's threat to native wildlife and the fragile Everglades ecosystem. The snake faces both state and federal bans.