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MIAMI (AP) -- University of Florida researchers are examining more than two dozen Burmese pythons harvested as part of the state's "Python Challenge."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Tuesday that 27 of the invasive snakes have been killed so far in the competition that began Jan. 12.

More than 1,000 people signed up to hunt pythons in the Everglades through Feb. 10 in the hopes of winning cash prizes. Competitors are allowed to keep the python skins, once researchers finish examining the snakes.

Researchers say the large number of hunters will help them gather more information about the snakes' habits. It's unknown how many pythons live in the Everglades. The snakes are considered a menace to native Florida wildlife, and they face both state and federal bans.

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Online:

Python Challenge: http://pythonchallenge.org/

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1/22/2013 9:39:20 AM (GMT -5:00)