OCHOPEE, Fla. (WFLA) — A 198-pound “monster” Burmese python was captured in Florida over the weekend, making it one of the heaviest ever recorded in the state.
In a social media post, python hunter Mike Elfenbein said it took five people to control the 17-foot, 2-inch python at Big Cypress National Reserve.
“It was more than a snake, it was a monster,” Elfenbein told CBS News. He said he had never seen a snake that large and called the capture “a new personal best.”
Elfenbein told the news outlet that the python quickly went from “flight to fight” and was a “formidable opponent.” He said he and four others sat on the python’s back and wrestled with it for more than 45 minutes.
“It took five of us to control her, glad to have removed her from our Everglades where she can no longer eat our wildlife,” Elfenbein posted on Facebook.
After the snake was captured the Conservancy of Southwest Florida registered the python’s measurements. Ian Bartoszek, a conservancy research manager, told CBS News that the snake was the second heaviest python ever captured in Florida.
Bartoszek said remains of white-tailed deer hooves were found in the python’s stomach.
“We often see the remains of deer inside pythons. Their impact throughout the food web of the Greater Everglades ecosystem cannot be understated,” Bartoszek told CBS News.
NBC affiliate WTVJ reported that the longest python ever captured in Florida was 19 feet long and was caught in July at Big Cypress National Reserve.