Nearly 800 snake hunters are signed up for the 2013 Python Challenge in Florida, USA. For the next month, the hunters will be scouring the Everglades for the invasive Burmese pythons that are destroying the fragile ecosystem. This is a real thing.
Under the rules of the contest, which is sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, hunters will vie for one of two prizes: one for the most pythons killed and one for the longest python killed.
Grand prizes of $US1500 for harvesting the most Burmese pythons will be awarded to winners of both the General Competition and the Python Permit Holders Competition, with an additional $US1000 prize for the longest Burmese python harvested overall. Funding for the prizes is provided by sponsors and through registration fees.
Well, that's one way of dealing with a deadly ecological menace. We're impressed that Florida has so deftly tapped the impulses of its native population to such a useful end. [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via The Telegraph]