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Scientist: Florida Python Hunt Didn't Help Control Threat

Burmese Python
Posted at 7:33 AM, Apr 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-21 07:33:00-04

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) - While Florida prepares for another public hunt for Burmese pythons in the Everglades, a scientist is analyzing the data from the first Python Challenge.

Records show 68 of the invasive snakes were captured during the 2013 hunt. State officials call that successfully raised public awareness about the threat invasive species pose to native wildlife in the Everglades.

But Frank Mazzotti of the University of Florida says that didn't do anything to control the python population. He analyzed the 68 pythons caught during the 2013 hunt, and he presented his findings Monday at a workshop opening the annual Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration conference.

Mazzotti says the prey consumed by the 68 snakes was almost evenly split between small mammals and wading birds. He says that raises new questions about what pythons are eating.

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4/20/2015 6:01:04 PM (GMT -4:00)