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Local News

Real life ‘whacking day’ underway in US

It was the subject of an episode of The Simpsons - now it turns out "Whacking Day" is real.

By Caroline Overington
THE much-derided annual Python Challenge is underway in Florida, with more than 500 hunters gathering to try to kill as many of the snakes as they can.
Last year’s hunt bagged a grand total of 68 pythons, which are in plague proportions in the Everglades.
Pythons are ambush hunters, excellent at camouflage, and easily hide in the swamps. A single female python could replace as many as were caught with a single clutch of eggs.
They are not native to Florida and cause considerable damage, but the python hunt is not effective, in terms of extermination.
Hunt organiser Nick Wiley told the Tampa Bay Times that the event is unlikely to remove large numbers of snakes “but any pythons that are removed will be helpful, and it reinforces the message that we need all hands on deck to help remove pythons from the Everglades while we earnestly seek more effective measures.”
The python hunt runs until Valentine's Day, with a $1500 prize for catching the most snakes and $1000 for the biggest snake.
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