Florida Teen Wins $10K Grand Prize for Capturing 28 Pythons
Hundreds of pythons were removed from Florida during the Florida Python Challenge, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Matthew Concepcion, 19, won the grand prize after removing 28 Burmese pythons as part of Florida's Python Challenge, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported.
He removed the most pythons by one person, but in total, participants from across the country, Canada and Latvia removed 231 Burmese pythons during the 10-day competition, accordion to the FWC.
The grand prize was provided by the Bergeron Everglades Foundation. Prizes were also given based on the longest python removed, the most pythons based on professional or novice experience, as well as a category for military and veteran awards, FWC reported.
Concepcion spoke to the South Florida Sun Sentinel about the winning strategy that got him 28 pythons.
“I worked a levee, caught a couple hatchings, and was like, ‘Dang, this might be the ticket!’ So every single night from then on, I went out there — just before sundown to sunup,” Concepcion told South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The Florida Python Challenge was created to help remove the invasive python species from south Florida.
“Once again, the Florida Python Challenge has yielded impressive results with hundreds of invasive pythons being removed from the wild,” said Governor Ron DeSantis, according to FWC. “Removing these snakes is one of the many efforts we are employing to restore and maintain the Everglades ecosystem.”
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