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

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Florida snake hunters captured a monstrous 132-pound Burmese python in the Everglades on Friday.

A snake hunter captured a record 17-foot python during the South Florida Water Management District's hunt over the weekend.

He said in an SFWMD video that he grabbed the female snake while she was still submerged in water.

"We're going to find a 20-footer tonight", he joked after turning in the snake to a field station.

For this python, Leon and the two other hunters will reportedly get $375. The program pays $50 for for a four-foot snake and $25 for each additional foot beyond that. He then shot her in the head while holding her. The hunters said it was much larger when they initially wrangled it.

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"If that snake was alive right now it would probably take like three of us to be able to control it". The average size of a Burmese python removed in Florida is eight to 10 feet.

"Since making their way into the bountiful grounds of the Everglades, these giant constrictors have thrived, assuming a top position on the food web".

The snakes were captured on state land in Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties. The Miami Herald reports the snakes are in part to blame for diminishing the population of small mammals, including marsh rabbits and raccoons.

To participate, hunters must be at least 18 years old and without a felony conviction or wildlife-related offense within the past five years, according to the site.

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