By John B. Virata
A Miami man has killed the largest invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) on record after pulling the snake out of some brush to see how big it was, according to a report on NBC News. College student Jason Leon, 23, was out riding all terrain vehicles in southeast Miami-Dade County with friends when they saw about three feet of snake sticking out of some brush. When Leon stopped to pull the snake in an effort to see how big it was, he grabbed the neck of the snake, which proceeded to wrap around Leon's legs twice and then headed for his waist, the report said. That is when his friend handed him a 9-inch knife, which Leon used to decapitate the snake. The female snake measured 18 feet in length and weighed 128 pounds. "I was pretty exhausted and I didn't want to get bit," Leon told NBC news.
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The 18-foot python was measured against three Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission lab technicians. Photo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Leon, who is studying marine biology and used to keep snakes when he was younger, called Florida Fish and Wildlife a few days later, which took the snake and confirmed that it was the largest invasive Florida Burmese python on record. Leon will keep the skin, which he is going to put on his living room wall, while the skeleton will remain with the commission.
"I would think a snake of that size could kill a very large animal," Carli Segelson, a commission spokeswoman told NBC news. "It could kill a deer, so a person would be comparable in size to that."
The previous record for the largest invasive Burmese python in Florida was 17 feet 7 inches and was carrying 87 eggs.
The Burmese python is one of many invasive species that are running wild in Florida. The species is well established in the Florida Everglades and authorities are actively trying to reduce their populations. The Florida Python Challenge, held at the beginning of this year netted 68 of the large constricting snakes.
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