Florida Python Hunter Snags Record 17-Foot Python In Everglades

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Mike Kirkland, a SFWMD scientist and the project manager for the Python Elimination Program, praised it for being "enormously effective in killing this relentless predator to help preserve native Everglades wildlife".

Since the program's initiation in March, more than 730 pythons have been removed from the Everglades. The district plans to continue the program until its $125,000 budget runs out. They get an extra $50 for each python up to four feet and another $25 for each foot above that mark.

A veteran Florida python hunter last weekend snagged a record 17-foot snake, a behemoth so enormous he said it could "kill any full-grown man".

Burmese pythons are an invasive species in Florida and are wreaking havoc in the Everglades.

'That snake could pretty much kill any full-grown man. 'There's no natural predators too'.

The 17-foot, 1-inch python, weighing 132 pounds, is the longest ever brought in for the agency's Python Elimination Program.

"We're going to find a 20-footer tonight", he joked after turning in the snake to a field station.

He said in an SFWMD video that he grabbed the female snake while she was still submerged in water. It's unclear whether the two had mated. Though an avid python catcher, he doesn't advocate tackling large ones alone.

"If you see a snake this big, I don't think you should jump on it, at least if you don't have somebody else with you", hunter Jason Leon said. In 2013, he wrangled an 18-foot-8-inch serpent. WSVN reported the 16 foot, 11 inch python on November 2.

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