Not only does the 18-foot, 8-inch Burmese python caught by Jason Leon this month weighing 128 pounds beat the state record in Florida, but the story of how he brought down the female snake is pretty impressive as well.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Leon was driving in a rural area of Miami-Dade County with a passenger when they spotted just three feet of the snake sticking out alongside the road. While many would have kept driving upon seeing the massive python, Leon stopped, grabbed it behind the head and began dragging it out of the brush. Leon had previously owned Burmese pythons, which are not venomous, and had some experience handling them.
Jason Leon after capturing the record-setting python. (Photo via Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/Facebook)
That's when FWC reported Leon saying the snake began to wrap itself around his leg. Others came to help Leon who then killed the snake with a knife.
Watch this report with footage of Leon's struggle with the python:
"Jason Leon’s nighttime sighting and capture of a Burmese python of more than 18 feet in length is a notable accomplishment that set a Florida record," said Kristen Sommers, who heads exotic species coordination for FWC. The previous record-setting python was 17 feet, 7 inches.
"The FWC is grateful to him both for safely removing such a large Burmese python and for reporting its capture."
The Burmese python is considered an invasive species in Florida that has in recent years had a negative impact on the Everglades and native wildlife.
"This event highlights how the Exotic Species hotline allows the public to help us obtain more information about Burmese pythons, so we can improve management of this invasive species," Sommers said of the aptly named hotline 888-IveGot1. "It also reflects the cooperative efforts of the FWC and its partners to address python sightings by the public."
University students demonstrate just how long the snake was. (Photo via Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/Facebook)
The python was given to the University of Florida where researchers evaluated it. They found the female was not carrying eggs.
(H/T: Grind TV)