Nearly 800 people will spend the next four weeks stomping around the Florida Everglades looking for Burmese pythons.
by Darrell Moody
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FLA. -- The 2013 Python Challenge is officially underway.
The month-long event began Saturday with the kickoff event held at the University of Florida Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say nearly 800 people have purchased special licenses that allow them to participate in the python hunt. The licenses cost $25.
Python hunting will be allowed in four designated areas of Everglades National Park over the next five weeks. Hunters can use guns or other weapons to humanely kill the pythons.
Awards of $1,500 for the biggest Burmese python and $1,000 for the most pythons will be given out during the 2013 Python Challenge Awareness and Awards Event Feb. 16, at Zoo Miami.
Wildlife officials say the goal of the pilot program is to learn more about invasive species and, hopefully, remove as many of the snakes as possible.
Over the past 30+ years, thriving populations of pythons have been established in the Everglades.
Biologists say there could be as many as 100,000 pythons in south Florida. FWC officials say the number could be even greater.
In recent years, pythons and other invasive reptiles have decimated populations of raccoons, foxes, opossums and other mammals that call south Florida home.
Jo-Jo has worked at 26 radio stations over 30 years! Along with working in such major markets as Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Atlanta and Philadelphia, And other markets such as, Denver, Biloxi, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Memphis, San Antonio, Macon, Greensboro and in St.Louis and many times at other stations in the market. Jo-Jo also taught broadcasting at the Broadcast Center in St. Louis. A True Pisces Born and Raised in St.Louis, Jo-Jo started working in radio at KATZ-AM In St. Louis and has done television and radio voice over work for years. Jo-Jo's hobbies include traveling and listening to different radio stations in other markets. Jo-Jo's favorite foods are Jamaican, Mexican, Cuban and good ole soul food. His favorite colors are Red,Black and Blue. Jo-Jo's quote: Treat people how you want to be treated. Pet Peeves.. Don't Lie or be Fake! Keep it Real! I would like to thank those who helped me along the way. Keith Adams,Lee Micheals, Barry Pope, Don Cody, Mike Love, Monte Lang, Mike Stradford, Chuck Adkins, Linda'O' Connor, KJ, Gee Wiz, Walter Brown and The man who understands my gift, Doc Wynter and my biggest fan my Mom!