March 25, 2018

17-Foot Python Takes New Record for Annual Florida Snake Hunt

07 December 2017, 07:29 | Taylor George

Jason Leon who snagged this 17-foot python also holds the Florida state record

Florida Python 2

The more of these snakes that can be eliminated, especially females and their eggs, the better chance future generations of native wildlife will have to thrive in the Everglades ecosystem that Floridians have invested billions of dollars to restore.

The snakes first started appearing in the area in the 1980s, and are now considered to be the top predator, outranking alligators.

The catch breaks the record of the previous holder, Dusty Crum, by just two inches.

Since the program's initiation in March, more than 730 pythons have been removed from the Everglades.

The hunters will receive a grand total of $375 for catching the giant snake. The district plans to continue the program until its $125,000 budget runs out.

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Leon says the Burmese python is causing serious problems for the Everglades.

He grabbed the snake and quickly shot her in the head, killing her instantly. The program pays $50 for for a four-foot snake and $25 for each additional foot beyond that. The Miami Herald reports the snakes are in part to blame for diminishing the population of small mammals, including marsh rabbits and raccoons. 'There's no natural predators too'.

The snake was taken to the district's Homestead field station.

The hunters are paid $8.10 per hour for the hunt, plus a bounty for each snake caught.

Burmese pythons, one of the largest snake species on earth, are breeding in the park and spreading throughout south Florida. WSVN reported the 16 foot, 11 inch python on November 2.

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