Florida cousins tangle with 300-pound, 16-foot Burmese python on family property

Dangerous Snakes

ZOLFO SPRINGS, Fla. — Two Florida cousins found a big snake on their family’s property. Not just an ordinary reptile -- a 300-pound, 16-foot Burmese python.

Aaron Brown was driving in Zolfo Springs in a rural area of south-central Florida when he saw the snake, WTVT reported.

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“I drove past it and said, ‘That’s a big snake,’” Brown told the television station. “I had my mother with me and she said, ‘Well, get out and get it.’ I said, ‘You get out and get it. If that joker catches me, you can’t help me.’”

Burmese pythons are an invasive species found in the Everglades. Some pythons measuring more than 15 feet long have been caught in the Everglades by snake hunters.

Brown found a bigger one. He called his cousin, William Wilkinson, and asked for help.

“I told him. ‘Man, watch that thing; I’m on my way. We are going to catch that thing,’” Wilkinson told WTVT.

The snake worked its way into a culvert, so Brown, Wilkinson and Brown’s son tried to capture it.

“We were trying to pull him back and pull him back but he got back on us,” Wilkinson told WTVT.

The hunters finally hooked and shot it. Then they realized how large the reptile was.

“Once we got him pulled out, it was like, ‘My God! What a snake!’” Wilkinson told WTVT.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the longest python ever caught in Florida was a female measuring 18 feet, 9 inches in 2013.

Burmese pythons became invasive in Florida as a result of escaped or released pets, the FWC said in a news release. It is illegal to release nonnative species like Burmese pythons into the wild, the agency said.

Because of the snake’s invasive status, they can be “humanely killed on private lands” with no permit required, according to the FWC’s website.