New record: python hunter kills 17-foot, 5-inch snake in Everglades

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A python hunter in the Everglades has made a record-setting catch, snagging a 17-foot, 5-inch python in Miami-Dade County on Monday night.

The South Florida Water Management District said hunter Kyle Penniston captured the 120-pound female Burmese python, which is now the third snake found measuring over 17 feet in length.

Penniston’s catch is now the longest ever brought in for the Python Elimination Program, where licensed South Florida hunters remove the invasive animals in order to protect native wildlife.

Since the program began in March of 2017, 1,859 pythons have been removed from the Everglades, stretching a combined length of more than two miles and weighing a total of 11 tons.

Penniston is the second most prolific hunter in the district’s program, with 235 snakes eliminated. Hunter Brian Hargrove currently holds the record for most catches with 257.

Hunters in the program are paid $8.25 per hour to scour the Everglades for pythons. They can also earn an extra $50 for snakes measuring up to four feet, along with an additional $25 for each foot measured beyond four feet. An extra $200 is given for each python nest with eggs that is eliminated.

Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.