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2013 Python Challenge Ends With More Education Than Snakes Caught

The Everglades Python Challenge is slithering to a close this weekend. And while all the attention over the past month focused on the hunt, the challenge was also a learning experience.

The official tally of Burmese pythons harvested won’t be announced until the big closing event Saturday. But counting python skins wasn’t the only purpose of the contest.

“We also wanted to educate the public about Burmese pythons in Florida and really how people can limit the impact of this and other nonnative species. So certainly we have been able to raise a great deal of awareness.” Says Florida Fish and Wildlife Spokeswomea Carli Segelson.

As for the 2014 Python Challenge, Segelson says Florida Fish and Wildlife needs to comb through all its new python data before deciding if there’ll be another one next year. Prizes for the biggest python and for the most pythons killed will be awarded at the Awareness and Awards Event Saturday at Zoo Miami.