The Super Bowl will kick off in South Florida in February, but Governor Ron DeSantis has just announced the return of the “Python Bowl” which will begin this weekend and last for 10 days.
The contest, which is open to hunters of all skill levels, is a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee and a number of public and private agencies.
The Florida 2020 Python Bowl kicks off Friday, Jan. 10, with competitors being tasked to remove Burmese pythons from specific areas of the Everglades. Those who catch the most and longest pythons in each skill category will be awarded what’s promised to be some impressive prizes.
“We need to get this snake under control so we can have a healthy environment in the Everglades,” says “Alligator Ron” Bergeron, a champion for Florida’s vast ecosystem.
Bergeron says the only way the billion-dollar Everglades restoration project can be successful is if pythons are eradicated. The non-native snakes can can grow to be 20 feet long and weigh 200 pounds.
“There’s a lot of invasive animals in the Everglades, but this one is extremely dangerous to the environment because it becomes top of the food chain.” said Bergeron.
For those who still don’t understand what’s so dangerous about the Everglades python invasion, Bergeron puts it simply.
“In Florida, especially South Florida, the Everglades is our drinking water.”
Entry rules and hunting tools for the Florida Python Challenge can be FOUND HERE.
An awards ceremony for the winners of the competition will be held Jan. 25 at Bayfront Park.
View the video two watch a tutorial on how to capture a python.
South Florida Water Management District governing board member Chauncey Goss says the Florida python challenge ‘2020 Python Bowl’ welcomes pros and rookies to hunt the snakes.
He said the governor was very adamant that we bring it back, “As part of Everglades restoration, we want to make sure we get rid of the invasive species. The Burmese python is an invasive species and it’s just decimating everglades. It’s been wiping out all of the small animals that are native to the Everglades.”
Now, Floridians can take environmental protection into their own hands.
Click HERE for more information on the Python Elimination Program.
More information on removing pythons and what to do if you see one can be found here from the FWC.