Florida Python Bowl Results in Capture of 80 Snakes

Annual event seeks to reduce Burmese python population

Hunters Gather In Florida Everglades To Capture Pythons In "Python Bowl"
Robert Edman, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, gives a python-catching demonstration before potential snake hunters at the start of the Python Bowl 2020 on January 10, 2020 in Sunrise, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

It’s been over 40 years since the first Burmese python was found in the Florida Everglades. That was not the snake’s natural habitat, but it quickly made a home there — which quickly became problematic, as pythons have a habit of dining on the wildlife native to the region. When you factor in the pythons’ average length of 8 to 10 feet — though they can grow to be up to 26 feet in length — you can get a sense of just how much damage they can do, especially to the region’s endangered species.

These pythons don’t have a penchant for attacking humans, though — and that’s where the Florida Python Bowl comes in.

The Python Bowl is an annual event, held over the course of 10 days, where hundreds of people converge on the Everglades to capture pythons. According to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, 750 people signed up for the competition, which resulted in the capture of 80 pythons.

At CNN, Theresa Waldrop has details on the event, including what Pro Grand Prize winner Mike Kimmel received for the 8 pythons he caught. Kimmel’s prize was a Tracker Off Road 570 — the perfect vehicle to travel through places with far fewer snakes than there were before.

Waldrop also notes that another snake hunter pulled off two milestones for the event. “One contestant, Tom Rahill, caught both the longest, a beast of 12 feet, 7.3 inches, and the heaviest, a 62-pounder,” she writes. “He won $4,000 for his efforts.”

Another participant, Dave Mucci, won several awards as well: an 11 foot, .08 inches python netted him second place in the rookie category as well as an award for active service members or veterans. Mucci also won awards in both the rookie and service member categories for trapping a 49.4-pound python.

While this Bowl doesn’t involve football, it will make a positive impact on the ecosystem of the Everglades; it’s hard to argue with that.

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