Florida will soon hold a python hunting contest to thin out the population of pythons - and perhaps also Floridians.
Joking aside, the Burmese pythons have been such an ongoing problem to Florida's ecosystem that the state has had to turn to the machete-wielding public for help. State officials once found a 76-pound deer in the stomach of a 16-foot python, CNN reports.
It sounds like the makings of a reality television show, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission created the 2013 Python Challenge, open to both the general public and python hunters, to run from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10. Whoever kills the most pythons gets $1,500. The person who kills the longest one wins $1,000. Hunters can't take the easy way out, because, no, road kill does not count, CNN said.
Hunters will only be allowed to hunt in certain wildlife areas. The state wants the pythons, non-poisonous snakes that kill their prey by strangulation, hunted humanely and suggests shooting the snake in the head or decapitating it with a machete, CNN said.
Aspiring snake hunters just have to pay the $25 registration fee and complete an online training course that gives safety tips on hunting pythons.