Florida python hunt opens with 11 snakes killed

Published On: Jan 15 2013 11:32:44 AM EST
MIAMI -

Florida wildlife officials say 11 Burmese pythons were killed during the first three days of a public hunt for the invasive species in the Everglades.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says more than 1,000 people from more than 30 states have registered to compete in the monthlong "Python Challenge."

The pythons killed since the competition began Saturday will be processed by the University of Florida. Officials say they hope the large number of hunters will help researchers gather more information about the snakes' habits.

It's unknown how many pythons live in the Everglades. Researchers say the large snakes menace native wildlife in the struggling ecosystem.

Florida law prohibits possession or sale of the pythons for use as pets.

The competition ends Feb. 10.

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