MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – With less than a week to go in the month long “Python Challenge,” more than 1,500 hunters have bagged 50 Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which began on january 12th, will wrap up this weekend.

The invasive snakes killed in the Everglades are processed and logged by University of Florida researchers who examine each one hoping to learn more about the elusive species.

No one knows for sure how many pythons live in South Florida. Wildlife officials say eradicating pythons from the Everglades was never the goal of the challenge. Instead, they hoped to raise awareness about the snake’s threat to native wildlife and the fragile Everglades ecosystem. The snake faces both state and federal bans.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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