Month-long python hunt in Fla. starts this weekend

January 11, 2013 4:10:12 PM PST
An overpopulation of pythons is prompting the state of Florida to launch a month-long snake hunt.

Authorities estimate there are nearly 150,000 pythons living in the Everglades alone.

The problem with the non-native snakes is so bad, owning one is now against the law. Experts think residents who couldn't handle them as pets, simply set the pythons loose. And that's causing problems.

"They're starting to come back into civilization looking for easy food -- our pets," said Scott Mullin with the Miami-Dade Venom One Unit. "And that's typically what they're feeding on -- cats, small dogs."

Over 500 people have signed up for the python challenge.

No snake hunting experience is necessary and no license is needed. Those taking part in the hunt just need a gun or a knife.

Whoever catches the longest snake wins $1,000. And the person who catches the most wins $1,500.

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