Florida Sen. Bill Nelson joined the list of 800 registered python hunters in the Everglades on Friday, and admitted that he failed to bag one of the massive slithering scourges on the “ecological applecart.”
The state has been trying to spread the word to hunters like Nelson about the affect of the giant snakes on Florida’s swampland by turning a state-sponsored hunt into a contest, according to NBC
"The question is, why are we out here? We're drawing attention to a problem that a non-native species is upsetting the ecological balance because they're eating up everything," Nelson said.
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"We of course are concerned about the natural endangered species such as the Florida panther, they found bobcats inside these things, so it's only a matter of time," Nelson added. "But we have to try something because these snakes are upsetting the ecological applecart."
Nelson later tweeted that “pythons seem to be elusive in this warm weather, none caught today,” however the hunt will continue with the more than 800 who have signed up for the 2013 Python Challenge.
The state is offering $2,500 in prizes to the hunter who kills the most, as well as the biggest, of the pythons.
Nelson has hopes that his failure to bag one won’t be the end of the hunt.
"It's too warm, when it gets cold in the next few days, they'll find some more," Nelson said.
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