Pythons are eating alligators and everything else in Florida. Snake hunters stand poised to help.
The Florida Python Challenge, an annual competition that kicks off Friday, will bring hundreds of snake-hunting professionals and novices to South Florida.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Florida Python Challenge, an annual statewide competition that kicks off Friday, will bring hundreds of snake-hunting professionals and novices to South Florida to hunt what wildlife officials are calling the state’s most concerning invasive species: the Burmese python.
Among those preparing for the 10-day hunt: Amy Siewe. Standing 5’4” and weighing 120 pounds, Siewe may appear small. But when it comes to hunting Florida’s Burmese pythons, Siewe is mighty.
“I don’t look like I can catch a 17-foot snake,” Siewe, 45, said. “But I can.”
As a paid contractor for the state of Florida, Siewe, who calls herself a “python huntress,” searches for the reptiles year-round. The Florida Python Challenge invites novices to hunt alongside professionals like Siewe, and compete for cash prizes. This year’s challenge runs Aug. 5 through Aug. 14. Its goal is to both nab snakes and raise awareness of the environmental harm they cause.