HARDEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It was the biggest snake they had ever seen.
“I was like, good lord, that’s a huge snake,” said Aaron Brown.
Brown was driving through his family’s property in Zolfo Springs Sunday when he saw something that caught his eye.
“I tried to coach my mom to get down there and grab a hold of it and she wasn’t going for that,” he said with a laugh.
So instead – he called his cousin, William “Bobby” Wilkinson.
“That’s the biggest snake I’ve ever seen,” his stepson said to him when they spotted the snake in a pipe.
Wilkinson shot the python, killing it.
“We started pulling him out of the culvert and it just kept getting bigger and bigger and I was like, my God look at this thing. This is one huge snake,” said Wilkinson.
It was a Burmese Python.
The family measured it. It was 16 feet and four inches long, weighed 300 pounds.
“I said I ain’t never seen one this big and never thought in my life I would have the opportunity to mess with something this big. This was one of my bucket list things,” said Wilkinson.
His inspiration is Dusty Crum, from the show Guardians of the Glades.
“Ever since the guardian of the glades has been on, I always tell my wife I’d love to go down there and catch a snake. Just one time go catch a snake. Lo and behold, one that was astronomically huge fell in my lap because my cousin spotted it in a ditch,” said Wilkinson.
Crum came this week to check out the python.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also got a report of a 9-foot Burmese python found in the Rotonda/Englewood area of Charlotte County.
The species is not native to Florida and cannot be legally owned for personal possession.
Pythons are breeding across natural areas in south Florida, FWC officials say.
“Due to the distance from the known established breeding population of pythons in south Florida, this animal is likely released or escaped from captivity,” a FWC spokesperson said in a statement.
Brown said he’s run across some wild things in rural Florida.
Where does this rank?
“It’s in the top 10,” he said.
“If this is in the top 10, I don’t want to know what else you’ve found,” replied 8 On Your Side’s Staci DaSilva.