Python hunter catches 17-foot snake, sets Florida record

Record-breaking 17ft monster python

While his 132-pounder set a record for the district's hunt, Leon already held - and still holds - the all-round state record with his 2013 capture of an 18-foot, eight-inch python, officials said.

He said: "That snake could pretty much kill any full-grown man".

The South Florida Water Management District said Monday python hunter Jason Leon broke the agency's old record with his kill of a Burmese python in southern Miami-Dade County at around 2:45 a.m. Friday.

Leon holds the record for the largest snake captured in Florida.

"We're going to find a 20-footer tonight", he joked after bringing the snake to the district's field office in Homestead.

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The invasive Burmese python, which breeds and multiplies quickly and has no natural predator in the Everglades ecosystem, has decimated native populations of wildlife.

"We have these guys out there eating our alligators, raccoons, possums, otters, pretty much everything out there", he added. They also pay an extra $50 for a 4-foot-long snake and $25 for each additional foot above that.

Jason, a professional snake hunter, was shocked by his discovery.

Since the program's initiation in March, more than 730 pythons have been removed from the Everglades.

The Burmese pythons established in the park are the result of accidental and/or intentional releases by pet owners.

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