A Florida teen is $10,000 richer after capturing more than two dozen pythons as part of the state’s “python challenge,”Officials stated.
Matthew Concepcion, 19, won the grand prize after removing 28 Burmese pythons as part of Florida’s Python Challenge, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported.
He removed the most pythons by one person, but in total, participants from across the country, Canada and Latvia removed 231 Burmese pythons during the 10-day competition, accordion to the FWC.
The grand prize was provided by the Bergeron Everglades Foundation. FWC reported that prizes were also awarded based upon the length of the python removed and the number of pythons removed based on novice or professional experience. There was also a category for veteran and military awards.
Concepcion talked to the South Florida Sun Sentinel regarding the winning strategy that earned him 28 pythons.
“I worked a levee, caught a couple hatchings, and was like, ‘Dang, this might be the ticket!’ So every single night from then on, I went out there — just before sundown to sunup,” Concepcion told South Florida Sun Sentinel.
To eradicate invasive pythons from South Florida, the Florida Python Challenge was established.
“Once again, the Florida Python Challenge has yielded impressive results with hundreds of invasive pythons being removed from the wild,”FWC reports that Governor Ron DeSantis stated this. “Removing these snakes is one of the many efforts we are employing to restore and maintain the Everglades ecosystem.”