A 17-foot Burmese python decided to join a family picnic in Florida earlier this week.
According to the Huffington Post, the snake was shot and killed by a park ranger.
The 17-foot Burmese python will be the first of many snakes killed in Florida starting in 2013. News Net 5 reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is planning a snake killing competition for the new year.
The 2013 python challenge will award $1500 to the person who kills the most pythons. $1000 will be given to the second place finisher.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hopes that the snake hunting contest will help control the population of snakes. Officials say that the invasive species has thinned out rabbit, fox, and bobcat populations in the area.
The python population, according to News Net 5, has grown in Florida mainly due to unwanted pets. The FWC believes that many of the snakes were released into the Everglades when they grew too big to keep as pets.
The 17-foot Burmese python that invaded the Arkansas tourists’ picnic this week was one of the biggest ever caught in Florida. The record-holder was about 7 inches bigger.
Here’s a video of the python.