Python Patrol offers alternative for those not ready for Florida's annual constrictor competition

Florida’s annual Python Challenge is just around the corner, but those not quite ready to compete can learn how to help remove these invasive constrictors through the FWC’s Python Patrol program. 

The Python Patrol is a free training program that seeks to create a network of people throughout South Florida who can identify Burmese pythons and report sightings. Trainees will also learn to safely capture and humanely kill the reptiles. 

According to FWC, Burmese pythons negatively impact the Everglades ecosystem by preying upon and competing with native wildlife.

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Burmese pythons and other nonnative reptiles can be humanely killed on private lands at any time with the landowner's permission, as well as on 32 commission-managed lands year-round, with no permits or hunting license needed.

According to the FWC website, no prior snake-handling experience is required to participate in the Python Patrol. 

RELATED: Shocking video: 5-foot alligator found inside Burmese python in Florida

The trainings are open and available to the public. 

The FWC is offering virtual Python Patrol training every Thursday. Click here for more information.