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17-foot python record captured in South Florida



A record 17-foot Burmese python was captured in the Florida Everglades on Friday.

Weighing 133 monstrous pounds, it is the largest python captured to date through the South Florida Water Management Department's (SFWMD) Python Removal Program, which aims to reduce the large population of pythons in the Everglades.

Pythons are a problem in the area because they take advantage of native wildlife, according to an official SFWMD statement.

"In areas of heavy population of pythons, there is a reduction of 99 percent in the animals that carry skins, "said SFWMD Python Elimination Program Manager Mike Kirkland.

In March of this year, the South Florida Water Management District hired 25 experienced hunters to solve the problem of invasive predators in Miami-Dade County.

<img src = "http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/python-record-02-ht-jef-171206_4x3_992.jpg" border = "0" width = "640" height = "480 "alt =" PHOTOGRAPHY: Python hunter Jason Leon set a record for the Python Elimination Program of the South Florida Water Management Departments with this 17-foot, 1-inch Burmese python that he brought to the Field Station Homestead Districts on December 4, 2017. [19659010] SFWMD
Python hunter Jason Leon set a record for the Python Elimination Program of the South Florida Water Management Department with this 17-foot Burmese python and 1 inch that led to the District Homestead Field Station on December 4, 2017.

"In total, hunters have eliminated 743 pythons. If they stretched from end to end, they would equal more than 5,000 feet and weigh more than 11,000 pounds, "Kirkland said.

Python hunters receive a minimum wage of up to eight hours per day to search for pythons. The reward for the captured pythons is $ 50 for the first 4 feet and $ 25 per foot beyond that.

Kirkland told ABC News that after the pythons are captured, they are slaughtered and then taken to the South Florida Water Management District facilities for an official measurement.

"Generally, hunters take snakes and make products with their skin, snakes are not considered a source of food because they contain high levels of mercury," Kirkland said.

According to Kirkland, no recent injuries of wild pythons have been reported, but there have been tragic accidents with pet pythons.

Kirkland says there have been no problems with animal rights groups.

"We follow the guidelines of the American Veterinary Medical Association for euthanasia," said Kirkland. "The public realizes that unfortunately [the pythons] they are in the wrong place"


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