A Florida python hunter, working on a python eradication project commissioned by the South Florida Water Management District, caught the largest snake the current project has seen to date, measuring up at almost 17 feet long.
Dusty “The Wildman” Crum, who is an orchid-grower by trade, has been working on the SFWMD project in his spare time to earn extra money. He compared his snake capture to a round of wrestling, according to WFOR-TV.
“It is like Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania,” Crum said.
Crum, who is paid $8.10 per hour with a bonus of $50 for a 4-foot python and an additional $25 for each foot thereafter, raked in $375 for the 130-pound snake measuring 16-feet, 10-inches long. He can also sell the snake’s skin and make about the same amount, doubling his income from the project.
Although it was a payday for Crum, he had no idea just how important his catch was until it was discovered what was inside the snake: 73 eggs just waiting to hatch.
While it was the largest Burmese python caught since the project’s inception, WFOR reported that the record for the area was a 18-foot, 2-inch snake weighing 160 pounds.
Authorities created the project because of the ongoing threat the non-native snakes pose to the Everglades residents and native wildlife in the area. The project has successfully eliminated 80 pythons since March 25 and will run through June 1.