Python Bowl

Josh Calloni, Reporter

This year, the Florida Everglades held an annual event in an effort to rid the area of an invasive snake species, the python. They called it the 2020 Python Bowl. 

The idea of the event was to go out into the everglades and capture as many pythons as possible, and take them back to the judges to be graded, before they reduce, and move them to a more natural habitat. The pythons being an invasive species means that they are not natural to the Everglades, and do more harm to the area than good. 

Any type of invasive species wreaks havoc on habitats, ruining food chains and preying on certain animals so heavily that they could go extinct in that area. Burmese Pythons are one of four invasive species in the Everglades, along with lionfish, Nile Monitors, and Argentine Tegus, the latter two being large lizard like animals. 

To enter the Python Bowl, contestants had to pass a 20 question test and pay a $25 entry fee, according to the Florida Conservation website. 

As for the event, this year 80 pythons were captured and submitted to the Florida Wildlife Conservation. The winner, a man named Mike Kimmel, won an offroad ATV for capturing the most pythons, as he took eight out of the Everglades. Among the first time snake capturers, a competitor by the name of Kristian Hernandez found six snakes, and was awarded an offroad ATV as well. The longest snakes captured was 12 foot long, and 7.3 inch wide, found by Tom Rahill, who was awarded $2000 for his find. Hernandez took home the same amount for finding a snake that was 11.5 feet and 6.5 inches wide. As for weight, Rahill’s snake was a total of 62 pounds, and Hernandez’ was 48, and each were awarded an additional $2000 for that total. 

750 people from 20 states assisted in this years Python Bowl, with an additional 550 professionals accompanying them, and helping to safely remove the snakes from the Everglades.