17-Foot Python Takes New Record for Annual Florida Snake Hunt
Jason Leon broke the hunt record Friday and previously held the record for largest python ever found in Florida.
A snake measuring more than 17 feet and bagged last week is the longest ever caught in Florida's Python Elimination Program.
The South Florida Water Management District shared video of the colossal python on Monday after it was caught Friday by hunter Jason Leon.
While his 132-pounder set a record for the district's hunt, Leon already held — and still holds — the all-round state record with his 2013 capture of an 18-foot, eight-inch python, officials said.
Leon's Friday catch bested the hunt's previous record, held by hunter Dusty Crum who caught a 16-foot, 11-inch snake last week.
The invasive Burmese python was first brought to the Sunshine State as a pet, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
But since the 1980s, released snakes and their offspring have preyed on mammals, birds and reptiles native to Florida.
Burmese pythons can be as long as 26 feet and weigh more than 200 pounds. The average size of a Burmese python removed in Florida is eight to 10 feet.
Its native habitat ranges from India to lower China, throughout the Malay Peninsula and on some islands in the East Indies, where it typically lives near water.
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