A Florida teen captures 28 Burmese pythons and wins the grand prize

A 19-year-old South Florida man captured 28 Burmese pythons during a 10-day contest created to raise awareness of the threats invasive snakes pose to the state’s ecology. Matthew Concepcion was among 1,000 participants from 32 states, Canada and Latvia who took part in the annual challenge that removed 231 unwanted pythons, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a news release.Latest: WPBF 25 News Entertainment News Concepcion was awarded for his efforts the $10,000 Ultimate Grand Prize. the Bergeron Everglades Foundation. Dustin Crum won the $1,500 grand prize for removing the longest python, which was just over 11 feet (3.3 meters). Earlier this year, a team of biologists pulled the heaviest Burmese python ever caught in Florida. This female python weighed 215 pounds (98 kilograms), was nearly 18 feet (5 meters) long and had 122 developing eggs, according to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Burmese pythons are not protected under Florida’s anti-cruelty law, so participants had to prove that each was killed humanely. Concepcion told the South Florida SunSentinel that he has been hunting pythons for about five years and usually looks for them at night because that’s when they are on the move and seek the warmth of roads. He uses his vehicle’s lights to spot them. WATCH: WPBF 25 News 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast But he only spotted one on the roads in the Everglades this year, so he changed his strategy.” I was working the levee, caught a few hatchlings and said, “Dang, this could be the ticket!” And so I went out every night from then on — from just before sunset to sunset.” Concepcion says he walked down the canal, using a flashlight to examine the undergrowth. Smaller snakes are so well camouflaged that he looks for their shadows cast by the flashlight beam, he told the newspaper. But larger snakes are easier to find. “They will have a slight purple tint. They’re really beautiful.” Concepcion said he can use some of his earnings to buy powerful lighting for his truck to help him spot more snakes. A Look at the World Around Us: WPBF 25 News Forecasting Our Future“Our python hunters are passionate about what they do and care deeply about Florida’s precious environment. We are removing record numbers of pythons and will continue to do so,” South Florida Water District Board member “Ron the Alligator” Bergeron said in a news release. Follow us on social networks: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A 19-year-old South Florida man captured 28 Burmese pythons during a 10-day contest created to raise awareness of the threats invasive snakes pose to the state’s ecology.

Matthew Concepcion was among 1,000 participants from 32 states, Canada and Latvia who took part in the annual challenge, which removed 231 unwanted pythons, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a news release.

Last: Entertainment coverage from WPBF 25 News

For his efforts, Concepcion was awarded a $10,000 grand prize courtesy of the Bergeron Everglades Foundation. Dustin Crum won the $1,500 grand prize for removing the longest python, which was just over 11 feet (3.3 meters).

Earlier this year, a team of biologists pulled out the heaviest Burmese python ever caught in Florida. This female python weighed 215 pounds (98 kilograms), was nearly 18 feet (5 meters) long and had 122 developing eggs, according to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Burmese pythons are not protected under Florida’s anti-cruelty law, so participants had to prove that each was killed humanely.

Concepcion told the South Florida SunSentinel that he’s been hunting pythons for about five years and usually looks for them at night because that’s when they’re on the move, looking for the warmth of roads. It uses the vehicle’s lights to recognize them.

WATCHES: WPBF 25 News 2022 – Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

But this year, he saw only one on the roads in the Everglades, so he changed his strategy.

“I was working on the levee and I caught a couple of hatchlings and I was like, ‘Dang, that could be the ticket!’ So I’ve been out every night since then — just before sundown until sundown.”

Concepcion says he walked through the canal and used a flashlight to examine the undergrowth. Smaller snakes are so well camouflaged that he looks for their shadows cast by the flashlight beam, he told the paper. But larger snakes are easier to find.

“They will have a slight purple tint. They are really beautiful.”

Concepcion said he can use some of his earnings to buy powerful lighting for his truck to help him spot more snakes.

View of the world around us: WPBF 25 News Forecasting Our Future

“Our python hunters are passionate about what they do and care deeply about Florida’s precious environment. We are removing record numbers of pythons and will continue to do so,” South Florida Water District Board Member “Ron the Alligator” Bergeron said in a news release.

Follow us on social networks: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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