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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Cold weather may be helping hunters in this year’s month long “Python Challenge.”

Since the event kick off on January 16th, state wildlife official say 61 Burmese pythons have been caught in the Everglades.

Cool temperatures and more training for hunters may be helping.

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

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.

The “Python Challenge” ends February 14th.

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