Florida’s Longest Burmese Python Ever Caught, Measuring a Jaw-Dropping 19 Feet

Snake Hunters Capture Record-breaking 19-foot Burmese Python in Florida

NAPLES, Florida – In a groundbreaking discovery, snake hunters successfully captured the longest Burmese python ever recorded in the state of Florida. The massive serpent, measuring a stunning 19 feet in length, was found earlier this week in the Big Cypress National Preserve, located approximately 45 miles west of Miami. This remarkable feat was announced by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida on Wednesday.

Weighing in at a whopping 125 pounds, the record-breaking female python surpassed the previous longest Burmese python, which measured 18 feet and 9 inches, and was also discovered in Florida. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, an environmental nonprofit based in Naples, played a vital role in documenting this exceptional find. The snake was promptly brought to the Conservancy to be formally measured and documented, with the intent to donate it to science.

Snake hunter Jake Waleri, 22, who stumbled upon the enormous python, recognized the importance of measuring and weighing the creature for scientific purposes. “We wanted to donate this find to science,” he stated in the conservancy’s official statement, affirming their commitment to enhancing scientific knowledge and understanding.

The Burmese python, an “invasive apex predator,” poses a significant threat to the delicate ecosystem of Southwest Florida, according to the conservancy. These creatures are a favorite among large reptile owners due to their docile behavior, but they are often poorly cared for, resulting in frequent releases into the wild. National Geographic reports that Burmese pythons can grow up to 23 feet or more and primarily feed on small mammals and birds. They kill their prey through constriction, using their teeth and coiling their bodies around the victim until suffocation occurs.

The conservation organization highlighted the importance of recording the lengths these snakes can reach, as it provides valuable information about the founding population of South Florida. Ian Easterling, a biologist working with the conservancy, expressed their belief in the significance of this find. “Her genetic material may prove valuable for an eventual understanding of the founding population of South Florida,” Easterling stated.

In conclusion, the recent capture of a record-breaking 19-foot Burmese python in Florida serves as a testament to the exceptional wildlife found in the state. This remarkable discovery not only sheds light on the astonishing size and capabilities of these invasive pythons but also emphasizes the urgency of removing them from the delicate ecosystem of Southwest Florida. As scientists continue to study and learn from this find, further insights into the behavior and impact of these apex predators may emerge, ultimately contributing to conservation efforts and the preservation of Florida’s natural environment.