Two snake hunters have captured the longest Burmese python ever caught in Florida. Captured in the Everglades over the weekend, the female python measured 18.9 feet. The previous record for the longest python captured in the state was 18.8 feet, reports CBS Miami News.
Ryan Ausburn and his roommate Kevin Pavlidis landed a python during a late night hunt. According to Tampa Bay Times, Mr Ausburn and Mr Pavlidis are paid snake hunters working for the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which manage Florida’s python elimination programs.
“On Friday night we pulled this BEAST of a snake out of waist deep water in the middle of the night, deep in the Everglades,” Mr Pavlidis wrote on Facebook. “I have never seen a snake anywhere near this size and my hands were shaking as I approached her,” he added.
Working together as part of the elimination programs, Mr Ausburn and Mr Pavlidis captured the massive snake which they found in water.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed that the snake set a new record Thursday. “Members of our Python Action Team and the South Florida Water Management District
Python Elimination Program captured an 18 foot, 9 inch Burmese python. That’s a new record!” they wrote.
The snake weighed “a whopping 104 pounds” or 47 kilograms. The commission hailed the removal of “this female snake is a triumph for our native wildlife and habitats.”
Burmese pythons are considered an invasive species in Florida, where they have established a breeding population. State-contracted python hunters help keep their population in check. According to the US Geological Survey, non-native Burmese pythons are one of the most concerning invasive species in Everglades National Park. They compete with native species for food, and have been linked to severe mammal declines in the area. The South Florida Water Management District’s python elimination program has removed thousands of pythons to date.
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