A massive python was captured and killed in Brevard County Central Florida.
The 12-foot snake was found in south Brevard County at the T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area by a group of alligator trappers. It’s rare to see this invasive species this far north, but experts say, more could be coming.
On Sunday, a group of friends and family were looking for alligators when they spotted something out of place near the road. Quickly, one of the trappers, Chuckie Burgess, jumped the fence and picked up the python trying to slither away by its tail. Burgess and his friend, Jay Strickland, were able to restrain and kill the snake before anyone got hurt. The whole ordeal ended in minutes, but it’s a sight they won’t forget.
Everyone was shocked to see how big the snake was: 12 feet long, weighing nearly 80 pounds.
“I was freaking out. I don’t like any kind of snake, and I’ve never seen one that big,” exclaimed Carlee Strickland.
Strickland was there with her husband and friends. She says she’s used to wildlife, but it’s something she’ll never forget. Now, they want hunters in central Florida to be aware.
“We walk through grass like this, tall, all the time, and we don’t ever look for anything like that,” said Kaylee Stillwaggon who also saw the python on Sunday.
It’s not common to see Burmese pythons this far north, but experts say they’re running out of food in South Florida.
“They’re marching north as we speak,” said Craig van der Heiden who’s the Wildlife Director for the Miccosukee Tribe.
Earlier this year, FOX 35 tagged along on the python hunt with hunters in the Florida Everglades trying to get rid of the invasive species wreaking havoc on the ecosystem.
“A lot of times, people think that they can’t withstand the cold, but they just go underground,” van der Heiden said. “These snakes can extend much further north than maybe we think.”
According to the U.S. Geological Survey which keeps track of reported sightings, pythons are inching closer to Central Florida.
“There’s a lot of debate. Everybody’s debating, was it a pet? Are they really this far north? We don’t know just as much as anybody else,” Strickland added.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) says it doesn’t know how this huge snake got to Brevard County but is inspecting the remains. Everyone in the group who caught it is glad it’s gone.
“We were on an adrenaline high. We were pumped. It was a good day,” Strickland and Stillwaggon concluded.