DAVIE, Fl. — Florida officials have announced the top prizes in the state’s public hunt for pythons.
The monthlong hunt ended Feb. 14. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the total number of pythons caught at an awards ceremony Saturday.
This year, 102 pythons were nabbed, the largest one measuring 15 feet and weighing 125 pounds.
All the snakes captured were killed and turned over to researchers trying to find clues to help control the python population. Once researchers finished examining them, the hunters could reclaim their dead snakes.
Burmese pythons are an invasive species that are having a devastating effect on native birds and mammals in the Everglades. They have even been found to eat alligators.
The first public python hunt in 2013 netted 68 snakes. Cool temperatures and more training appeared to help this year’s hunters.