Record-Setting Burmese Python Captured in Florida

Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Record-Setting Burmese Python Captured in Florida

May 21, 2013 Updated May 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM EDT

Now that's a big snake. ...

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said a Florida man caught and killed an 18-foot, 8-inch Burmese python earlier this month. The previous record snake had measured 17-feet, 7 inches.

According to a news release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

On May 11, Jason Leon was riding late at night in a rural area of southeast Miami-Dade County when he and his passenger spotted the python. About 3 feet of the snake was sticking out of the roadside brush. Leon stopped his car, grabbed the snake behind its head and started dragging it out of the brush. When the snake began to wrap itself around his leg, he called for assistance from others and then used a knife to kill the snake. Leon once owned Burmese pythons as pets and has experience handling this nonvenomous constrictor species.

“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 the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Earlier this year 68 Burmese pythons were caught or killed during the 2013 Python Challenge, a Florida state-sponsored hunt that resulted in approximately 1,600 people from 38 states and Canada taking part.

According to the National Park Service, more than 1,800 Burmese pythons have been removed from Everglades National Park since 2002, a number that likely represents just a fraction of the total population.



Related external content

National Geographic's Burmese python page

Burmese python Wikipedia page

Burmese python page at Everglades National Park

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