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More than 800 competitors will be trudging through the Florida Everglades for the next eight days, in search of invasive Burmese pythons that will bring in thousands of dollars in prize money.

The python hunt officially began Friday morning and runs through 5 p.m. on Aug. 15, according to officials who gathered in Miami to kick off the annual event.

“This is significant because every python removed is one less invasive species preying on our native birds, mammals and reptiles,” said Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis.

Since 2000, more than 17,000 pythons have been removed from the Everglades ecosystem, according to a news release. Burmese pythons, which are not native to Florida, prey on birds, mammals and other reptiles. A female python can lay as many as 100 eggs a year.

Cash prizes of up to $2,500 are available in both the professional and novice categories for those who remove the most pythons, officials said. There are additional prizes for the longest python in each category. Each python must be dead, with hunters facing disqualification if they kill them inhumanely or kill a native snake.

So far, the registered hunters represent 32 states and Canada. Registrations are being accepted throughout the competition. It costs $25 to register and participants must also complete an online training course.

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A problematic character: CPAC attendees express concern about another Trump presidential run in 2024

Former President Donald Trump is expected to be a keynote speaker to close out the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas this weekend but it appears that a substantial number of attendees are not looking forward to the possibility of him making a third run for the White House.

A new report written by NPR's Ashley Lopez includes the reactions from some CPAC attendees who are apprehensive about the idea of Trump running again. Citing the responses from a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, Lopez shed light on the number of Republicans opposing Trump's possible run.

Lopez noted, "Polling shows that some Republican voters are open to voting for someone other than Trump in 2024. According to a New York Times/Siena College poll from July, about half of Republicans polled would back another candidate. However, Trump by far has the most support of any single candidate among these voters at 49%. Florida Gov. Ron Desantis was second, but garnered only about half of Trump's level of support at 25%."

READ MORE: Eric Holder predicts how Donald Trump will be indicted

"Donald Trump's ongoing legal and political issues might be too much baggage for some conservative voters," Lopez wrote, later adding that some attendees believe "all the controversy following Trump could be a liability as they weigh who could possibly run against President Joe Biden in 2024."

Speaking to NPR, Pennsylvania resident George Breen, a self-proclaimed staunch conservative and CPAC attendee marketing "Stop the Steal" merchandise, also expressed apprehensive of Trump.

"I think he tapped into something in the American psyche that hadn't been tapped into by either party, but he's a problematic character," Breen said. "He's a difficult person... there's too much petty stuff."

He added, "He's too disruptive."

READ MORE: ‘Fear-driven alliance’: Conservative explains why far-right CPAC ‘opportunists’ and ‘paranoids’ are meeting in Hungary

Another attendee also expressed similar sentiments as she expressed the possibility of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) running to clinch the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. "There are some days where I think that would be great and other days where I think it is time to move on," said Cassiopeia Fletcher of Nebraska before speaking of DeSantis.

"He has all of the bulldog of Donald Trump," she said of the Florida governor. "Without the offensiveness."

READ MORE: 'Narcissistic sociopath': Experts stunned after 'small, weak, powerless’ Trump praises Putin at CPAC

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