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Travel & Outdoors

Sorry python hunters, not this time around

Sorry python hunters, not this time around
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2013 file photo, Bill Booth of Bradenton, Fla. wears a dead Burmese python he caught, Jan. 19, 2013 in the Florida Everglades as part of the month long "Python Challenge." Booth's snake measured an unofficial 11.59 feet. Florida won't be repeating a public hunt meant to reduce the population of invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades. The state-sponsored Python Challenge attracted roughly 1,600 hunters in January and February and made headlines worldwide. It netted 68 of the snakes, the longest measuring more than 14 feet. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
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MIAMI (AP) — Florida won't be repeating a public hunt meant to reduce the population of invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

The state-sponsored Python Challenge attracted roughly 1,600 hunters in January and February and made headlines worldwide. It netted 68 of the snakes, the longest measuring more than 14 feet.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman said Monday that the hunt met the agency's primary goal of raising awareness about the python problem, and there will not be another hunt next year.

Instead, the state is beefing up established programs that train licensed hunters and people who regularly work in areas known to contain pythons to kill or report exotic snakes.

Researchers say the snakes, which aren't native to Florida, are eating wildlife at an alarming rate and don't have natural predators in the state.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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