WATCH: Family Finds 17-Foot Python

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EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Florida (CNN) -- A family got quite a shock when an uninvited guest slithered into a picnic area in Florida.

They were visiting from Arkansas and captured a snake on camera.

The 17-foot Burmese python was killed by a park ranger.

In January, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will host a 2013 Python Challenge. They hope it will help control the expanding population.

A grand prize of $1,500 will go to the person who kills the most pythons and a thousand dollars will go to the person who kills the longest python.

Researchers say pythons have devastated rabbit, fox, opossum and bobcat populations.