published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
68 pythons down, many still to go
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- The 2013 Python Challenge ended Feb. 10. Between Jan. 1 and then, 68 Burmese Pythons were harvested from the Everglades.
Nearly 1,600 hunters from 38 states, Washington D.C. and Canada, took part in the challenge, which offered cash prizes.
In addition to raising awareness about the problem pythons present to the natural balance of Everglades' mammals, reptiles and bird life, Florida Wildlife Commission said it was "an unprecedented opportunity to gather invaluable information about the snakes themselves."
The longest snake in the general hunt division was 14 feet, 3 inches. The longest snake in the permitted division measured 11 feet, 1 inch.
One hunter harvested six snakes, making him a winner in the general category. A permitted hunter brought in 18, making both men grand prize winners ($1,500 apiece).
Two other men shared second place, each with five pythons apiece.
The News-Sun tried but was unable to reach Calvin Turner to find out if he had returned to the hunt. A Lake Placid man, Turner brought in the first python of any size (11 feet) during the first weekend of the challenge.
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