Florida Sen. Bill Nelson the latest to join ‘Python Challenge’

A Sunshine State senator will be the latest to traipse through Florida’s Everglades in search of wild pythons up to 15 feet long.

Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) will join the hunt on Thursday as part of the state’s month-long “Python Challenge,” in which nearly 1,000 people have signed up for the chance to collect a bounty for catching and killing Burmese pythons. The challenge, which began this past Saturday, is aimed at helping to control the exploding population of the non-native snakes, which have devastated Florida’s eco-system. Anyone is eligible for the hunt, so long as they participated in a 30-minute course and paid a $25 fee.

“These snakes don’t belong in the Everglades,” Nelson said. “They’re causing real problems in one of Florida’s greatest treasures.”

Just last year, Nelson announced a rule that prohibits the sale and importation of exotic snakes like the Burmese python.

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