FLORIDA EVERGLADES (CNN) — A wildlife trapper known as the ‘Python Cowboy’ caught a 17-foot python in the Florida Everglades, and he has photos to prove it.
Last week, Mike Kimmel went out to a secluded island where he spotted alligator droppings. He then came upon what he said looked like an extra large python that made his heart pound.
After a brief wrestle and nasty bite, Kimmel was able to grab the female snake’s head. He dragged her back to his boat where he euthanized her.
Kimmel is waiting on state authorities for an official measurement, but when he measured the snake at home, it was about 17 feet long and weighs at least 130 pounds.
Kimmel plans to sell the snake’s skin on his website. He said he will also receive a payment from Florida’s Python Action Team — which pays people to remove the invasive species.
Pythons began turning up in the everglades in the 1980s, most likely abandoned by pet owners or escaped from a breeding facility destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Now, wildlife officials estimate there may be as many as 100,000 pythons living in the Everglades.