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Florida snake hunters capture a record-breaking python

‘It was insane’

FORT MYERS, Fla. − Hunters in South Florida caught the largest Burmese python ever measured, and the lengthy beast is being examined at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples.

The 19-foot python was caught in the Big Cypress National Preserve in eastern Collier County early Monday morning by Naples hunter and Ohio State University student Jake Waleri, who said the catch was a dream come true.

Waleri said:

“I knew we were capable of it but I didn’t know it would happen. Last year my cousin and I caught a snake that was almost 18 feet long, and we realized we could handle a snake of that size.”

Capturing the 19-footer was “insane” and “very chaotic,” Waleri said. After struggling to subdue the snake, Waleri jumped on it.

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Waleri, who has been hunting snakes since 2020, said:

“At first I just held on to the tail for dear life. And then one of my friends took a net and tried to pin its head down, and we quickly realized that was not a winning strategy,”

“It’s the only snake that’s scared me so much that I didn’t know what to do.”

Burmese pythons first appeared decades ago and have since established themselves as a permanent feature south of Lake Okeechobee.

They’ve wreaked havoc on local wildlife, and scientists say most of the fur-bearing animals in the historic Everglades are gone.

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South Florida has now produced the two longest Burmese pythons on record. The previous record was 18 feet, 10 inches, and that snake was caught about 35 miles west of Miami in October 2020 …

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VIDEO: Python hunters wrestle with giant snake, the longest python ever caught in Florida –

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