18-Foot 8-Inch Burmese Python Killed, Sets Florida Record

| by Michael Allen
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Jason Leon (pictured) caught the longest Burmese python ever captured in Florida, 18 feet and 8 inches, and 128 pounds, on May 11th.

According to CBS Miami, Leon was driving in a rural area of Miami-Dade County when he and a friend saw 3 feet of the female python sticking out from some roadside brush.

Leon grabbed the python behind its head to drag it out of the brush.

However, when the python tried to defend itself by wrapping around Leon's leg, he yelled for help and eventually used a knife to kill the snake.

After killing the python, Leon reported the reptile to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

“Jason Leon’s nighttime sighting and capture of a Burmese python of more than 18 feet in length is a notable accomplishment that set a Florida record. The FWC is grateful to him both for safely removing such a large Burmese python and for reporting its capture,” said Kristen Sommers, Exotic Species Coordination Section Leader for FWC.

The Nature Conservancy’s Python Patrol Program and the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Program arranged to pick up the dead snake.

The carcass of the python was given to the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center.

According to University of Florida scientists who examined the snake, it was the largest python ever captured in the state.

UF scientists say Burmese pythons are eating populations of mammals in the Florida Everglades. The snakes have no predators, except for humans who may come across them.

Source: CBS Miami