Public awareness of the invasive species in Florida, the Burmese python was raised by holding the ‘Challenge’ and valuable data was collected. The public support was astounding and conservation official, government officials and researchers all worked together. 1600 competitors hunted, through a million acres of swamp and sawgrass, from 38 states for the camouflaged snake. The Awards event was held February 16, 2013 at the Miami Zoo and Commissioner Ron Bergeron handed out the trophies:
The $1500 Grand Prize for the most Burmese pythons caught went to Brian Barrows for harvesting six pythons during the General Competition, and Ruben Ramirez for catching eighteen pythons during the Python Permit Holding Competition. Second place and $750 went to Bill Booth who harvest five pythons during the General Competition and Blake Russ who harvested five during the Permit Holding Competition.
First place and $1000 went to Paul Shannon for harvesting the longest python 14-feet and 3-inches during the General Competition, and Blake Russ who harvest 11-foot and 1-inch during the Python Permit Holding Competition. Second prize and $750 went to Rigoberto Figueroa for 14-feet and 2.3- inches during the General Competition, and Ruben Ramirez for harvesting a 10 feet, 6.8 inch long in the Python Permit Holders Competition.
Thanks for not releasing a wild or exotic pet into Florida. If you see a Burmese Python please call 888-IVE-GOT-1 it will help if you can take a picture of it and the location.
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