A Miami man captured and killed the largest-ever Burmese python ever recorded.
It seems only memorable things are 19-feet long: a stretch Mercedes-Benz wagon, the longest carrot ever recorded and now, the largest-ever Burmese python recorded in Florida.
The 128-pound, 18-foot-8-inch reptile was caught by a Miami man who spotted it earlier this month while out driving, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The reptile surpasses the previous record of 17 feet 7 inches, according to University of Florida scientists.
The man, Jason Leon, was riding late on the night of May 11 in a rural area of Miami-Dade County when he noticed the reptile extending about three feet into the road from some brush, said Carli Segelson, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Leon might have recognized the species. Before it became illegal to owen a Burmese python as a pet in Florida in August 2010, Leon had owned some of the reptiles, Segelson said.
Leon stopped the car, got out, grabbed the snake by the head and began dragging it out into the road, according to a commission statement. When the snake began to wrap itself around his leg, Leon killed it with a knife. The creature is nonvenomous, according to the commission.
Leon reported the capture to the commission, which turned the snake over to its partners at the University of Florida Research and Education Center in Fort Lauderdale.
“The FWC is grateful to him both for safely removing such a large Burmese python and for reporting its capture,” Kristen Sommers, head of the Exotic Species Coordination Section of the conservation commission, said in a statement.
Leon could not be reached.
In one of two photos posted to the commission’s Facebook page, Leon appears to be struggling to hold up the large reptile. In another photo taken at the University of Florida, three research staffers lying on the floor foot to head are the same length as the snake.
Burmese pythons are generally docile creatures that can weigh up to 200 pounds and reach the girth of a telephone pole, according to the National Geographic website.
According to the Florida commission, the species is invasive and has negative impacts on the Everglades.