Florida wildlife is under siege from the Burmese python. The invasive snake is destroying the ecosystem to such an extent that the state has had to hire snake hunters to try and keep them in check, It is not an easy task and it is slow going but it needs to be done.
Mike Kimmel, also known as ‘Python Cowboy’ is one best python hunters in Florida and he just may have captured the largest snake in the state of Florida.
The enormous female python weighted over 150 pounds measuring more than 17 feet long. The snake was “kinked” so he was not able to get an official measurement, so 17 feet could be a conservative measurement.
“Our program record is 17 feet 5 inches. FWC’s record python is 18 feet. The state record is just above 18 feet,” Kirkland wrote in an email to Channel 10 News. So it is going to be close to the program record.
The snake did not go quietly the battle left him bleeding and bruised, but he got the job done. He details the incident on his Instagram channel and also posted the video of the encounter on YouTube.
“Yesterday’s solo python island hunt in the Florida everglades was another one for the books! At 8 am I headed out into the swamp on my 14’ Jon boat in search of a giant python and at 11 am I found her! She was a man-eater and she wasn’t coming without a fight. I noticed her almost immediately as soon as we crossed paths, I could barely contain my excitement. She definitely was not afraid of me and started to slowly cruise through the vegetation as I carefully walked next to her trying to gauge exactly how large she was because of all the grass and weeds it was hard to tell but I could tell she was an absolute monster. Her being tangled in vegetation makes the capture that much more difficult, a snake this size will use the vegetation as leverage and can literally pull you into the swamp, no stopping 150lbs of SOLID muscle. I knew going for her headfirst would be the easiest and safest capture method but I couldn’t turn down the chance to grab her by the tail and dance with the devil herself! As soon as I grabbed ahold of her I sealed my fate lol… no turning back now, she was coming for me! She immediately started to battle it out, taking strikes and pulling me into some tall grass with her, making it difficult to dodge her strikes she was able to successfully get a bite on me. Only got me once but that’s all it took I was punctured quite deep on my bicep and forearm, piercing an artery and hitting some nerves, I was lucky she didn’t latch on and that I was able to pull out of it. After loosing about a gallon of blood, I was able to tire her out and get her under control. I then used a snake bag I had on my waist to tourniquet my arm because I was getting worried about how much blood I was loosing, better safe than sorry. I then had to drag all 150lbs of her alive, working to control my breathing so I didn’t pass out from blood loss and the extreme heat that day, I would have been screwed. After getting her to my boat, where my suppressed .22 pistol was, I was able to euthanize her before leaving, I didn’t have the proper bags for live transport because she was too large. Unofficial measurement: 17’ with kinks, record breaker?“
Here is the Video of the capture: