'Python Challenge' Asks Floridians To 'Harvest' Snakes

For the next month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is asking residents to tangle with the Burmese python. They say it's a "harvest," but really they're asking people to hunt as many pythons as possible.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

They call it The Python Challenge.

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SIMON: Today and for the next month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is asking Floridians to tangle with the Burmese Python. They call it a harvest. Of course, that means that they want people to hunt pythons. How do you hunt pythons? Very carefully, I'm sure. They're huge, constrictor snakes that can grow to be more than 20 feet long.

Now, like many of us, the python is a tourist to Florida, not a native species. But the snake doesn't just go to Disney World and fly back home. It stays - and threatens the birds, reptiles, and mammals who live in the Everglades. The commission is offering a $1,500 grand prize to the person who bags the most pythons, and harvesters can keep the skin.

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SIMON: And you're listening to NPR News.

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