An apparently fearless pair of snake hunters have captured a 18.9ft Burmese python, achieving a brand new record for the state of Florida.
Ryan Ausburn and Kevin ‘Snakeaholic’ Pavlidis, who are members of Florida Fish and Wildlife’s Python Action Team, discovered the female snake lying alongside the L-28 Tieback Canal in the Florida Everglades. The previously held state record was a snake that measured 18.8ft in length.
Hair-raising footage taken Friday, October 2 shows the pair capturing the enormous creature, a battle that took ‘every ounce of strength’.
You can check out the snake for yourself in the following footage:
Taking to Facebook, Pavlidis wrote:
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. I have never seen a snake anywhere near this size and my hands were shaking as I approached her.
Every python we catch can be potentially dangerous, but one this size? Lethal. One mistake, and I am for sure going to the hospital. But more importantly, this is a once in a lifetime snake. I could go out every single night for the rest of my life and never see one this big again
Pavlidis has reportedly caught over 400 snakes in the past two years, but nothing has even come close the size of this 104 pound whopper.
The dramatic footage of the capture was apparently taken by the snake hunters’ assistant, Angela Scafuro.
In a separate post, Ryan Ausburn wrote:
So, around 11pm last night, deep deep into the glades I spotted that always distinct pattern. On the back side of the tree line in the water.
I knew she had some size but it wasn’t until we walked to the waters edge did I realize how big. Usually one of us would go for the head, but her head was a good 3-4 feet out in the water.
Knowing that he would cause ripples which could ‘spook’ the snake before he got close, Ausburn opted to grab her by the tail, securing her while Pavlidis started ‘working for the head’.
As Ausburn grabbed her and began pulling her by the rear end, she ‘immediately turned back and anchored herself around a tree’.
According to Ausburn:
It took every ounce of strength to keep her from slipping away while [Pavlidis] was goin’ for her head. He quickly got control of the head and made the decision to hand her over to me.
I then kept fighting to keep her from pulling her head loose while [Pavlidis] kept her from wrapping me up. It may not look like it, but it was an absolute battle.
As reported by CBS Miami, the snake was officially measured on the morning of Thursday October 8 by the South Florida Water Management District, the body which oversees the state’s python hunter programme.
Over 5,000 Burmese pythons have been removed from the Florida Everglades since Florida began paying hunters to capture them back in 2017.
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CreditsSnakeaholic/Facebook and 3 others