More than 100 pythons caught in Python Challenge

Posted at 8:55 AM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 08:55:00-05

MIAMI (AP) - A state-sanctioned hunt on public lands for invasive Burmese pythons came to a close on Sunday.

The monthlong Python Challenge ended Sunday at 7 p.m.

RELATED: 16-foot python captured during challenge 

As of Friday, 102 pythons had been caught since the competition began Jan. 16.

Researchers believe tens of thousands of pythons may be slithering through the Everglades, decimating native mammal populations.

The first public python hunt in 2013 netted 68 snakes. Cool temperatures and more training appeared to help this year's hunters, who are competing for prizes awarded for the longest python and the most snakes captured.

The hunt's final tally will be announced at an awards ceremony Feb. 27.

All the snakes captured were killed and turned over to researchers trying to find clues to help control the python population.