Courtesy: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
A Burmese python caught in Everglades National Park has broken the previous length record by one inch.
On Oct. 2., snake trappers Kevin Pavlidis and Ryan Ausburn captured the Florida record, 18 foot and 9 inch long Burmese python roughly 35 miles west of Miami along the L-28 Tieback Canal.
The Burmese python, infamously known as an invasive species from Southeast Asia, is encouraged by the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) to be killed if seen in the wild.
According to FWC, pythons are prohibited in the state to be acquired as household pets, however, can be possessed for commercial sales purposes, research, or public exhibition with a proper permit.
Because of their size, pythons have very few predators. The snake poses a variety of negative impacts to endangered species wildlife, humans and pets.
“On Friday night we pulled this BEAST of a snake out of waist-deep water in the middle of the night, deep in the Everglades,” wrote Pavlidis via a Facebook post. He continued to say, “I have never seen a snake anywhere near this size… one mistake, and I am for sure going to the hospital.”
Given the unique environment present in the Everglades, the pythons are able to spread and acclimate faster than most environments. In peak conditions, pythons can lay up to 100 eggs once a year. Combine that with their 15-20 year life expectancy and it is a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately in 2017, the Python Elimination Program was created and so far has eliminated over 3,500 snakes and proudly boasts a team of hunters to eliminate the invasive species. According to the South Florida Water Management District, independent contractors are paid an hourly rate plus a bonus based on the size of the snake.
There is no exact number as to how many are currently in Florida, but some experts believe the number exceeds hundreds of thousands.
To learn more about how the Burmese python was introduced to Florida click here to read an article we posted previously.
And to learn more about the description of the python, click here.
Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.