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AP Florida

Pythons elude Sen. Nelson during hunt in Everglades

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 09:41 AM

MIAMI — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is blaming warm weather for an unsuccessful python hunt in the Everglades.

The Florida Democrat is among more than 1,000 people who signed up to hunt Burmese pythons during the month-long "Python Challenge."

On Thursday, Nelson sped over roughly 40 miles of sawgrass in an airboat piloted by state wildlife commissioner Ron Bergeron. They checked several isolated islands, but they came back empty-handed.

They encouraged other hunters to take advantage of colder temperatures that drive the snakes onto sunny surfaces.

Nelson championed a federal ban on the pythons. He says their voracious appetite for native wildlife threatens to undermine the ongoing, multimillion-dollar effort to restore a natural water flow in the Everglades.

Nelson also says he'd like to see python hunting allowed in Everglades National Park.

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