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Hunt is on for Burmese pythons, Florida natives' arch-enemy

Photo: Joshua J. Cotten
Photo: Joshua J. Cotten

MIAMI (AP) — Professional python hunters and amateurs alike can win prizes in Florida’s annual hunt for the Burmese pythons that are ravaging the state’s native species.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state's annual contest on Thursday. He says it will run from July 9th to July 18th.

In both the professional and novice hunter categories, there will be a $2,500 prize for catching the most pythons and $1,500 for the longest. Descended from abandoned pets, these pythons can grow to 20 feet and 200 pounds.

They're devouring native mammals and birds, aside from the occasional alligator death match, armed humans are their only predators.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.