HOMESTEAD, FL (FOX 13) - The state of Florida is about 102 steps closer to being python-free Monday morning after the annual Python Challenge officially came to an end over the weekend.
The month-long challenge kicked off January 16 and wrapped up this past Sunday, February 14 at 7 p.m.
Wildlife officials say at least 102 snakes were caught this year, but also say a more updated number will be given during their award ceremony on February 27.
Cash prizes will be handed out to the hunters who caught the most snakes, and another will be doled out to whoever snagged the largest snake.
The largest snake’s measurements have not yet been released, but we do know at least one measured nearly 17 feet.
The hunter who caught it happened to be a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer, and therefore will not be eligible for a prize, even if that catch happens to be the largest.
The annual python hunt aims to reduce the python population, which are an invasive species and have a negative impact on the ecosystem.