A Florida teen wins $10-thousand in a snake removal competition by capturing 28 Burmese pythons. During the ten-day 2022 Florida Python Challenge earlier this month, Palmetto Bay 19-year-old Matthew Concepcion won the challenge's top prize by capturing 28 invasive Burmese pythons from Florida wildlife management areas.
In the ninth year of the annual competition, more than a thousand professional and novice snake hunters from around the world competed to see how many invasive Burmese pythons they can catch in seven wildlife management areas in South Florida. Concepcion handily beat out the competition, bringing in almost double the 15 snakes that the second place competitor did.
Concepcion says he’s been hunting pythons for about five years and like many of the competitors, he’s concerned about invasive python’s impact on the Everglades ecosystem. “They kill everything," he says. “The pythons have destroyed 80% of our animals.” This year's competition helped to remove 230 Burmese pythons from South Florida, protecting native birds, mammals, and reptiles from the nonnative predator.