Earlier this week, a group of Burmese python hunters in Florida captured a massive snake that, once measured, would become the longest specimen ever captured in the Sunshine State.
Burmese pythons are an invasive species in Florida. They have flourished throughout the Florida Everglades over the past several decades as they are perfectly adapted to the ecosystem and weather.
Previously, the longest Burmese python ever captured and measured in Florida was an 18 foot, 9 inch specimen. On July 10h, a group of python hunters captured what is now the longest Burmese python ever measured, 19 feet even.
The Longest Burmese Python Ever Captured In Florida: 19 Feet
The group of python wranglers brought their catch to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to learn more about the specimen. It weighed a whopping 125 pounds and measured 19 feet on the dot (579 centimeters).
22-year-old Naples, Florida-based python hunter Jake Waleri told the Conservancy of Southwest Florida “We brought the snake to the Conservancy to be officially measured and documented. We wanted to donate this find to science.”
Jake also released footage of his team capturing the longest Burmese python ever measured. In the struggle, it’s clear the snake went to wrap itself around its captors in the deadly battle:
The absolutely gargantuan snake was captured in Big Cypress National Preserve, where Phish famously played their Y2K/2000 NYE concert.
The Conservancy announced this record-setting catch for the longest Burmese python ever captured in Florida in a press release. In the press release, they note that the heaviest python weighed in Florida clocked in at 215 pounds.
This 19-footer is truly the size of a dinosaur
It is currently egg-laying season for these Burmese pythons in Florida. It is not out of the realm of possibility that this 19-foot Burmese python recently unloaded a lot of eggs in a nest somewhere.
Studying the largest specimens is crucial to understanding the species and how they are adapting to The Florida Everglades.
Conservancy Biologist Ian Easterling said “We had a feeling that these snakes get this big and now we have clear evidence. Her genetic material may prove valuable for an eventual understanding of the founding population of South Florida. We will be collecting measurements and samples that will be distributed to our research collaborators.”
Just a week ago, a 16-foot Burmese python was captured with 60 eggs in its belly.
In February, field biologists made breakthroughs in capturing these snakes. They stumbled upon the use of GPS collars on prey that’s large enough and specific enough that only the largest and longest Burmese pythons would eat them.
It remains to be seen how many invasive pythons are roaming in The Florida Everglades. These snakes have near-perfect camouflage and can disappear in plain sight.
The infamous ‘Python Cowboy’ has also been pioneering the use of training scent dogs to sniff out the snakes and their eggs. He has been seeing tremendous results with that method.