A man from Florida has captured and killed a giant Burmese python thought to be the largest of its kind to ever be caught in the state. The enormous 128-pound python, which measured 18 feet, was found by Jason Leon during a late-night drive.
The snake was caught and killed by Leon, 23, earlier this month. Leon, who is a student at Florida International University, spotted the serpent slithering into a bush in a rural area of southeast Miami. Luckily the student had had experience handling snakes, as he once had a Burmese python as a pet.
"At one point it was wrapped around both my legs and one of my arms," said Leon, speaking to local Florida newspaper the Sun Sentinel. "I knew I had to keep it away from my neck. I wasn't scared. I had two other people right there. I knew if it came down to it they would help me out."
Earlier this year Florida launched the 2013 Python Challenge, which encouraged civilians to capture pythons in exchange for a reward. However, the challenge was not as successful as the state had hoped, with only 68 pythons caught in total. The news of Leon’s capture of the mammoth python is hoped to spark new interest in capturing the snakes in Florida.
The python caught by the student has smashed the previous record for the longest Burmese python captured in Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The previous record was 17 feet, 7 inches, a whole foot less that Leon’s capture, which was 18 feet, 8 inches.
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