Hunter bags record-breaking python in Florida

©South Florida Water Management District

A snake hunter outdid his own record for the largest Burmese python (Python bivittatus) captured in a South Florida district hunt last weekend. Jason Leon shot a 17-foot, 132-pound female in the head after noticing it in the water in South Miami-Dade. He was participating in the hunt the South Florida Water Management District organized to raise awareness about invasive pythons, which could be negatively affecting small mammal and wading bird populations since the snakes’ introduction in the 1980s. Hunters have caught 738 snakes so far through the program, which pays an hourly wage and a bounty for each snake, and intends to continue until its $125,000 budget runs out. Read more in The Miami Herald and see video on the South Florida Water Management’s Twitter feed.