A Burmese python. Photo courtesy Kevin Enge/FWC
MIAMI (AP) - More than three dozen Burmese pythons have been hunted during Florida's "Python Challenge" that ends in less than two weeks.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Friday that 41 of the invasive snakes have been killed in the Everglades since the competition began January 12.
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University of Florida researchers examine each snake hoping to learn more about the elusive species.
No one knows for sure how many pythons live in South Florida. Wildlife officials say eradicating pythons from the Everglades was never the goal of the monthlong challenge. Instead, they hoped to raise awareness about the snake's threat to native wildlife and the fragile Everglades ecosystem. The snake faces both state and federal bans.
More than 1,000 people signed up for the challenge that ends February 10.