We're pretty much at the middle mark for the first-ever Florida Python Challenge, the dubious public service free-for-all the state cooked up to control the dangerous number of Burmese pythons slithering around the state.
The challenge started January 12, when some 800 hunters went head-first into the Glades looking for the prey. As we told you from our front-line report, day one failed to yield any big catches. But by the end of the launch weekend, 11 pythons had been reported in to FWC.
- 2013 Python Challenge: Few Reptiles, Many TV Crews
- Python Challenge: FWC Announces First Kills in 2013 Contest
Last Friday, FWC released the latest update. After 14 days, the state reportedly brought the kill column tally up to... cue the drum roll... 30.
If you crunch the numbers, that roughly averages two dead pythons per day. The contest runs until February 10. So if we keep chugging at the same clip, the final kill count could land in the neighborhood of 60 snakes. That sounds like a lot of boots, purses, and belts, not to mention plenty of finger food. (Actually, the dead snakes have to be turned over to the University of Florida... sorry, no snake bites).
Then again, considering there are somewhere around 800 hunters enrolled in the challenge, the effort and pomp and camera glare all seem arguably for naught.