17-Foot Burmese Python is One of the Largest Ever Captured in FL

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A Florida snake hunter bagged one of the biggest Burmese pythons on record back in late March while hunting in a wildlife management area inside the Everglades. Working for the state’s Python Action Team Removing Invasive Constrictors (PATRIC) program, Kurt Cox caught a snake weighing 176.6 pounds and measuring 16.9 feet in length. It’s the 4th heaviest and the 22nd longest invasive Burmese python ever recognized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

A file photo provided by FWC shows Cox on the far right holding the massive snake’s head and neck. It took four other people to hold up and fully extend its 17-foot body, which is as long as a full-size SUV.

Cox found the snake in the Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area, northeast of Everglades National Park and west of Miami. A writer and geologist by trade, he’s been an authorized agent of the National Park Service’s Python Removal Program in both Everglades and Big Cypress National Park since 2016, according to his Linkedin profile.

Outside of the National Park system, FWC pays snake hunters to root out and kill Burmese pythons, which the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) calls one of the most intractable invasive species on the planet. Since 2017, when FWC launched PATRIC, FWC-contracted snake hunters have removed more than 19,000 pythons from south Florida, the agency reports.

Read Next: What It Feels Like to Catch a 19-Foot Foot Burmese Python…with Your Bare Hands

The longest python ever taken from the Everglades area was caught in 2023 by a recreational snake hunter from Naples, Florida named Jake Waleri. Waleri spotted the 19-foot python as it was crossing a road in Big Cypress and subdued with help from friends and fellow snake hunters. Waleri’s python weighed 125 pounds.

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