A group of snake hunters captured them Largest Burmese python caught in Florida This week.
The largest snake was 19 feet long and weighed 125 pounds, according to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, an environmental nonprofit in Naples that has been working to eradicate invasive Burmese pythons for a decade.
Snake hunters captured the female snake early Monday morning at Big Cypress National Preserve, the conservancy said. The largest python previously documented in Florida was 18 feet 9 inches, according to the conservancy.
“This is the only snake I’ve ever seen that scared me to the point where I didn’t know what to do,” Jake Valeri, one of the snake hunters, said in a video released by the conservancy.
Valerie said the snake hunters wrestled the snake, before he grabbed its head.
“It was a fight, and it was a good one, definitely one to remember,” he said.
“We brought the snake to the conservancy to be officially measured and documented,” said Valerie, a 22-year-old Naples native. “We wanted to present this discovery to science.”
“It’s wonderful to have an impact on the environment in South Florida,” he added. “We love this ecosystem and try to protect it as much as possible.”
Snake hunter Stephen Gowda added: “It is very scary to know that these animals are so destructive to our environment. But it makes me feel good to know that we can go out there and observe these kinds of monsters and get them out of the Everglades.
Burmese pythons have been a major problem in the Everglades. They reproduce rapidly and eat other wildlife.
“We thought these snakes were this big, and now we have clear evidence,” said conservancy biologist Ian Easterling. “His genetic material may be valuable for the ultimate understanding of the founding population of South Florida. We will collect measurements and samples that will be distributed to our research collaborators.”
None of the snakes ever caught in Florida were heavier. A 215-pound female captured last year holds the record.
Learn more about the Conservancy’s efforts to capture pythons Here.
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