Kyle Penniston, of Homestead, made the solo capture of a 17-foot, 5-inch female Burmese python while hunting on SFWMD lands in Miami-Dade County late Monday night. Photo provided by South Florida Water Management District.

17.5-foot python captured in Miami-Dade County

A python hunter made a record-setting catch earlier this week when he caught a 17-foot, 5-inch female Burmese python while hunting in Miami-Dade County, South Florida Water Management District said.

Kyle Penniston, of Homestead, made the solo catch Monday night while hunting on SFWMD land for the Python Elimination Program, SFWMD said.

The 17-foot, 5-inch snake weighed in at 120 pounds, and it is the third caught as part of the program that measured more than 17 feet.

The mammoth snake was 17-foot, 5-inch long and weighed in at 120 pounds. Photo provided by South Florida Water Management District

According to SFWMD, with this record catch, “python hunters have now eliminated 1,859 of the invasive snakes on District lands, stretching a combined length of more than two miles and collectively weighing more than 11 tons.”

Penniston is currently second place among the hunters, with 235 snakes eliminated. Miami native, Brian Hargrove is in first with 257, the SFWMD’s press release said.

“Just six months after eliminating the first 1,000 pythons from District lands, this program is about to double that total because of a true team effort,” said SFWMD scientist Mike Kirkland, project manager for the Python Elimination Program. “With the Governing Board’s unwavering support, District staff and a dedicated group of hunters are working to help control this invasive species and protect native wildlife.”

SFWMD’s Python Elimination Program facilitates the elimination of the invasive snakes on District-owned land. The SFWMD Governing Board has funded the program for the entirety of the 2018-19 Budget Year.
Writer:Emily Ford
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