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Florida's IRL whacking day has set a new record: Just two weeks into the state's annual Python Challenge, which tasks hunters with tracking down the invasive Burmese python, 82 snakes have been captured, the Miami Herald reported.

That breaks the record set in 2013's inaugural challenge by 14.

While there are no reliable Burmese python counts, the USGS says that from from 2000 to mid-October 2011, more than 1,786 pythons were removed from Everglades National Park and adjacent lands. There may be as many as tens of thousands crawling the swamps of South Florida. The pythons have no natural hunters and can eat just about anything.

Here's the map showing where they are concentrated:

The pythons were first spotted in the '80s, and are believed to have spread widely after a breeding facility was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Irresponsible pet owners, who released their hard-to-handle pythons into the wild, are also to blame.


The Challenge rewards participants with prizes of up to $5,000 for most pythons caught. Here is a video showing the proper way to do so.

What you do with it next is up to you—Florida wildlife officials prefer them live—but here are some other options.


No hunting licenses are required, and people can get involved just by learning how to identify the snakes, at which point they can contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to capture and remove the snake.

The hunt runs through mid-February.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.