Monster 17-Foot Python Caught in Florida Everglades

Leon set a record for the South Florida Water Management Departments Python Elimination Program with this 17-foot-1-inch Burmese python that he brought to the Districts Homestead Field Station Dec. 4 2017

Homstead, Fla. - Just when you thought pythons couldn't grow any larger, a hunter caught one in the Everglades on Friday measuring a whopping 17 feet 1 inch long.

At 17-feet long, it's the largest python ever caught under Florida's Python Elimination Program, which was started earlier this year. He described it as being able to "kill any full-grown man".

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.

"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. Leon also holds the overall state record with an 18-foot-8-inch python he caught in 2013.

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"We have these guys out there eating our alligators, raccoons, possums, otters, pretty much everything out there", he said.

Since March, the program has eradicated more than 700 snakes in on District lands in Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties, which, if laid out end to end, would measure over 1.4 km and weigh over 4,500 kilos.

Leon and two other hunters will bring in $375 for the massive reptile captured Friday.

The species of snake, originally from Southeast Asia, is frequently found in South Florida and more than 2,000 pythons have been removed from the park and surrounding areas since 2002, likely representing only a fraction of the total population.

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