A pair of snake ʜᴜɴᴛᴇʀs have made a monstrous catch that could end up breaking the record for largest ever Burmese python in Florida.
Ryan Ausburn, a contracted python hunter with the South Florida Water Management District, and Kevin “Snakeaholic” Pavlidis, a contracted python hunter with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, captured the monster-sized python Oct. 2 along the L-28 Tieback Canal about 35 miles west of Miami.
It was an 18 foot, 9 inch Burmese python. The previous record was 18 feet, 8 inches long. Pictures and videos of the snake catching are shared on social media by the snake catchers and they are ᴛᴇʀʀɪꜰʏɪɴɢ!
In his post, Kevin Pavlidis mentions that a single mistake in handling of this snake could have landed him in the hospital. He called it a “BEAST of a snake” that they took out of waist-deep water that too in the middle of the night.
Pavlidis wrote, “On Friday night, we pulled this BEAST of a snake out of waist-deep water in the middle of the night, deep in the Everglades. I have never seen a snake anywhere near this size and my hands were shaking as I approached her. Every python we catch can be potentially ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs, but one this size? Lᴇᴛʜᴀʟ. One mistake, and I am for sure going to the hospital. But more importantly, this is a once in a lifetime snake. I could go out every single night for the rest of my life and never see one this big again.”
Ausburn described the capture as a real “ʙᴀᴛᴛʟᴇ”, saying, “I am just incredibly grateful for this opportunity and an experience I will never forget. Realize what you have when you have it and cherish the experience in the moment. Be grateful, be respected, and be thankful.”
Ausburn said he realized the snake’s size was when they reached the water’s edge. Normally, snake ʜᴜɴᴛᴇʀs would grab the python by the head, but Ausburn grabbed it from the back, causing the snake to run away, anchored herself around a tree. He had to use all his strength to keep the snake from slipping away.
Pavlidis said he has caught more than 400 snakes during the past 2 years, but none came close the size of his most recent catch. The snake was officially measured on Thursday morning by the South Florida Water Management District which oversees the state’s python hunter program.
South Florida is facing an invasion from Burmese pythons, one of the largest snake species on Earth. These massive snakes, which can grow to 20 feet long or more, with telephone-pole-sized girths, have all but ᴅᴇᴄɪᴍᴀᴛᴇᴅ the region’s small- and medium-sized mammal population, wreaking havoc with the area’s ecosystem. That is why they are taken down and sometimes transported to other regions.