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Florida wildlife officials say 61 Burmese pythons have been caught so far in a monthlong, state-sanctioned hunt

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MIAMI — Florida wildlife officials say 61 Burmese pythons have been caught so far in a state-sanctioned hunt.

Cool temperatures and more training for hunters may be helping. The monthlong "Python Challenge" ends Feb. 14.

PHOTO: Bill Booth of Bradenton, Fla., prepares to turn in a dead python at a Python Challenge checkpoint, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Florida Everglades, Fla. A cold snap may be giving humans an edge early in a state-sanctioned hunt for elusive Burmese pythons in the Everglades. Since the second Python Challenge began a week ago, hunters have turned in 39 of the invasive snakes by Jan. 22, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Bill Booth of Bradenton, Fla., prepares to turn in a dead python at a Python Challenge checkpoint, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Florida Everglades, Fla. A cold snap may be giving humans an edge early in a state-sanctioned hunt for elusive Burmese pythons in the Everglades. Since the second Python Challenge began a week ago, hunters have turned in 39 of the invasive snakes by Jan. 22, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The last public hunt for pythons on state lands, in 2013, netted 68 of the snakes, the longest measuring over 14 feet.

The beginning of this year's hunt coincided with a cold snap across South Florida. Chilly weather can drive the snakes into the open as they seek warmth.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission updated its tally Tuesday, adding 22 more pythons caught through the weekend.

The snakes that are captured are killed and turned over to researchers, who are searching for clues to help control the python population in the Everglades.

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