A python hunter hooked a record snake last weekend, staggering into a 17-foot giant in the Florida Everglades.
The South Florida Water Management District said Monday that pitcher Jason Leon broke the agency's old record with his killing of a Burmese python in south Miami-Dade County around the 2:45 am Friday
The 17 feet, 1 Piton, weighing 132 pounds, is the longest that has been brought in for the agency's Python Removal Program. Leon also holds the state's overall record with an 18-foot, 8-inch python that he caught in 2013.
Leon said in a video posted by the SFWMD that he saw the snake in submerged water, grabbed it and quickly shot him in the head while holding the snake. There was a smaller male python nearby, but it was not captured, Leon said.
"We're going to find a 20 foot foot tonight," he joked after taking the snake to the district field office in Homestead.
Friday's capture overthrew the previous record by Dusty Crum, who was 16 feet, 11 inches tall, according to WSVN.
WHEN THE SERPENTS INVADE THE CAPITAL OF THAILAND, IT'S FIREFIGHTERS THAT ARE COMING TO THE RESCUE
The Python Elimination program of the water district asks South Florida Hunters to remove the invasive animals to protect the native fauna.
Since the program began in March, more than 730 pythons have been removed from the Everglades, according to the agency.
The district pays the hunters $ 8.10 per hour as part of the hunt, plus a reward for each trapped snake, and plans to continue until its $ 125,000 budget runs out, The Miami Herald reported.