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Hunters catch enormous 5-metre-long ‘man killer’ snake

December 11, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Hunters have caught an enormous snake, 5.2 metres long and weighing 60 kilograms, which one hunter said “could pretty much kill any full-grown man”.

The Burmese python was caught in the Florida Everglades in southern Miami-Dade and the size of the snake has set a new record for the program aimed at reducing or eradicating non-native species.

One hunter, Jason Leon, told Flordia news channel NBC 6. “If that snake was alive right now, it would probably take like three of us to be able to control that snake.”

The Miami Herald said Leon spotted the female python in the pre-dawn darkness, grabbed it and shot it in the head. It’s size beat the previous record for the program, which was held by the memorably named Dusty “Wildman” Crum.

Sssssseventeen Feet!

Python hunter Jason Leon set a record for the longest snake caught as part of SFWMD's Python Elimination Program with this 17-foot-1-inch Burmese python that he brought to the District's Homestead Field Station today. Leon's catch tops the previous high mark for the program of 16 feet, 11 inches established by Dusty "Wildman" Crum last month. Leon also holds the state record with an 18-foot-8-inch python he caught in 2013. Since SFWMD’s program started in late March, python hunters have eliminated 738 invasive Burmese pythons on District lands in Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties.

Posted by South Florida Water Management District on Monday, December 4, 2017

Leon also holds the state record for the largest Burmese python ever captured, after catching a slightly longer Burmese python in 2013.

An introduced species, the carnivorous, semi-aquatic Burmese python gained a foothold (though that’s probably not the best term) in the region when hatchlings escaped into the swamps. Hurricane Andrew roared through the area in 1992, flattening local pet shops and liberating exotic snakes, along with parrots, wallabies and mountain lions.

Florida and its amazing Everglades region are big tourist drawcards and wild pythons don’t fit into the environment. Various groups, including the South Florida Water Management District, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are cooperating to catch and expel pythons from environmentally sensitive areas.

Written by Peter Needham

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