Longest Burmese Python: How Big Is Record-Breaking Florida Snake? [PHOTOS]

By iScienceTimes Staff on May 20, 2013 3:56 PM EDT

Python
Jason Leon caught the largest Burmese python in Florida history, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (Photo: FWC)

A Miami man has captured the longest Burmese python in Florida history.

On May 11, a man named Jason Leon noticed the massive python while driving in a rural area outside of Miami-Dade County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. When Leon saw three feet of the snake poking out of a roadside brush, he stopped his car and dragged the Burmese python out of the foliage. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the snake began to wrap itself around the man who had just dragged it out of the brush, at which point Leon killed it with a knife.

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Leon called FWC's Exotic Species hotline. The organization then turned the massive Burmese python over to the University of Florida's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center.

The python turned out to be a whopping 18 feet and 8 inches, beating the previous Florida record by about a foot. The snake weighed 128 pounds. To put that in perspective, that's about what Katy Perry reportedly weighs.

"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. The FWC is grateful to him both for safely removing such a large Burmese python and for reporting its capture," said FWC's Kristen Sommers.

Florida actively coordinates with local and federal groups to keep their Burmese python population under control. Burmese pythons, an invasive species, can have a negative effect on the ecosystem of the Everglades.

"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. "It also reflects the cooperative efforts of the FWC and its partners to address python sightings by the public."

Burmese pythons are one of the largest snakes on Earth. Even though the record-breaking Burmese python in Florida was almost 19 feet, the snakes are capable of growing as large as 23 feet and weighing up to 200 pounds, with girth that can reach the size of a telephone pole. The fairly terrifying creatures can also stay submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.

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