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Python hunters catch gargantuan 17ft snake in Florida Everglades

By T.K. Randall
November 10, 2023 · Comment icon 12 comments
17ft python caught in Florida.
The snake was absolutely huge. Image Credit: Facebook / Mike Elfenbein
Mike Elfenbein and colleagues discovered the massive reptile at Big Cypress National Preserve last week.
For most people, coming face to face with a 17ft snake would be enough to send them running, but for python hunters, tracking down and catching such enormous reptiles is all in a day's work.

The Burmese python was first introduced in the Florida Everglades in the 1980s and has since gained a significant foothold, resulting in a major decline in raccoons, opossums and bobcats as well as the near total disappearance of some rabbit and fox species.

Wildlife officials have spent years attempting to remove the reptiles from the region - a feat easier said than done due to their enormous size and seemingly endless numbers.

This most recent specimen, which was initially mistaken for an alligator, was found and caught by five hunters including Mike Elfenbein and his son Cole at Big Cypress National Preserve.

The father-and-son duo had arrived at the scene to see another team of hunters attempting to wrestle with the snake.
"That was when I realized it was either we do something now or this wasn't going to end good," said Elfenbein. "So I grabbed her by the head and my son had her by the tail. We stretched her out across the road and Carter, Holden, and Tray jumped on top of her to try to hold her down."

"She literally lifted us up the ground."

Due to the snake's enormous size and weight, it took all five of them 45 minutes to subdue the beast.

Measuring 17ft in length and weighing in at 198 pounds, the snake is thought to be the second heaviest python ever caught in the state of Florida.

"Of her 198 pounds, 29 pounds of it was pure fat. She was just massive, she was huge," said Elfenbein.

Source: | Comments (12)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Myles 5 months ago
I hope the meat is used.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by openozy 5 months ago
Sad to see such an awesome specimen destroyed but people brought them in so people need to control them. The same as the feral animals in Oz they will never be totally removed though.
Comment icon #5 Posted by joc 5 months ago
Python steaks?  I would go for a nice pair of Python Boots though.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Myles 5 months ago
Not really too sad when you think about the amount of animals just one snake kills.  
Comment icon #7 Posted by Myles 5 months ago
I'm sure the meat is tasty if prepared right.
Comment icon #8 Posted by joc 5 months ago
I'm not.  I mean...maybe but.  So, one day this last summer we went out to eat with my daughter and her boyfriend.  I thought...hmmm, I'm going to go exotic.  I ordered a tentacle of Octopus.  Well, it didn't exactly taste like chicken.  It was more akin to the taste of a tire one pulled off of the fire. I mean, it was edible, but not something I would ever order again if you know what I mean.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Piney 5 months ago
It's flaky like flounder but not strong or fishy. It should of been steamed longer. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by joc 5 months ago
The tentacle I had was grilled.  Probably would have been better with BBQ sauce on it.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Piney 5 months ago
You can't grill cephalopods. You vulcanize them.....yuck...
Comment icon #12 Posted by Antigonos 5 months ago

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