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Snake hunters caught a 17-foot-1-inch python in the Florida Everglades, the largest captured so far under the South Florida Water Management District’s python elimination program.
The 132-pound Burmese python was caught early Friday at the Big Cypress National Preserve. The hunters said it was much larger when they initially wrangled it.
“That snake could pretty much kill any full-grown man. If that snake was alive right now it would probably take like three of us to be able to control that snake,” python hunter Jason Leon said of the record-breaking serpent.
Leon noted the Burmese python is devastating wildlife in the Everglades with its uncontrollable appetite.
“We have these guys out there eating our alligators, raccoons, possums, otters, pretty much everything out there,” he said. “There’s no natural predators too.”
The SFWMD launched the python elimination program in April 2017. The program pays hunters $8.10 an hour and gives an extra $50 for a 4-foot-long snake and $25 for each additional foot above that. The hunters will receive a $375 for this find.
Leon warned against trying to catch a snake of this size 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,” he said.
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