Snake hunters catch 17-foot-long python in Florida Everglades


Leon is a python hunter who recently killed a 17-foot, 1-inch Burmese python, coming in at about 132 pounds, at the Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.

The removal was part of the water district's Python Elimination Program, as a part of which hunters are asked to remove invasive animals to protect native wildlife. More than 730 pythons have been killed since then.

Leon says the Burmese python is causing serious problems for the Everglades.

He said in an SFWMD video that he grabbed the female snake while she was still submerged in water. In 2013, he wrangled an 18-foot-8-inch serpent.

The hunter also claimed a bounty - $50 for the first four feet and an extra $25 for each foot more, according to the district spokesman.

District spokesman Randy Smith said the non-venomous constrictor was captured in the Everglades, about 40 miles from Miami, and brought to the district's Homestead Field Station to be measured. 'There's no natural predators too'.

The Miami Herakld reports that the snake hunter also helped catch the python elimination program's 500th specimen back in August.

Burmese pythons, one of the largest snake species on earth, are breeding in the park and spreading throughout south Florida.

"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", he warned.

The catch breaks the record of the previous holder, Dusty Crum, by just two inches.