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Python hunters find 'once in a lifetime' record-breaking snake

The python came in at 18-feet, 9-inches long and weighs 104 pounds.
Credit: South Florida Water Management District/FWC

TAMPA, Fla — A pair of python hunters caught the biggest Burmese python on record in Florida. 

Members of the  Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's Python Action Team in the South Florida Water Management District, Ryan Ausburn and Kevin Pavlidis, caught the beast of a snake together.

FWC says the average length of a python caught in Florida is 8 to 10 feet. But the duo's "behemoth of a snake" came in at 18-feet, 9-inches and weighs a whopping 104 pounds.

In a Facebook post, Pavlidis called this a "once in a lifetime snake."

Burmese pythons are not native to Florida and have devastated the state's native wildlife. The snakes eat rabbits and birds and compete for food with other predators like bobcats and Florida panthers.

That's why FWC and the South Florida Water Management District started the Python Elimination Program.

"The removal of this female snake is a triumph for our native wildlife and habitats and a great example of the partnership between our two programs working toward our goal of removing nonnative pythons," the FWC said on Facebook.

The program was launched in 2017 and is responsible for the removal of more than 5,000 snakes since then. In a vote of confidence, the governing board also decided to triple the program's funding.

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