Giant Python Capture
YouTube: Everglades Python Snatchers

16-Foot Burmese Python Gets Into Extended Wrestling Match With Snake Hunter

The Burmese python is one of the most problematic creatures now invading Florida. The big snakes have no natural predators other than an occasional alligator, yet they wreak havoc on the state's native wildlife. Unfortunately, the snakes took to Florida's warm climate a little too well and now we have a breeding population in the Everglades. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's response has been to hire dozens of full-time snake wranglers to go into the swamps and forest to forcibly remove these problematic serpents. And it's not an easy job, as today's video from Everglades Python Snatchers illustrates. This hunter spots a giant 16-footer weighing an estimated 100 pounds on a roadside.

He quickly hops out of his vehicle to capture the serpent and ends up in an extended wrestling match. The snake's strong coils curl around the hunter's hand, and his leg as it attempts to escape. All the hunter can do is hang on tight and hope the snake wears herself out before they can bag the invasive reptile and take it out of the swamps permanently. This video gives a good look at just how strong these snakes are.

Pythons like this large female are the ones that are most valuable for snake hunters to catch since they can lay nearly 100 eggs a year. The FWC incentivizes hunters by paying extra for catches over four feet or snakes that have a clutch of eggs. The pythons that grow to adulthood have grown to enjoy snacking on deer, raccoons, foxes, turkeys, and even smaller alligators if they can catch them. That's bad news for Florida's native wildlife, which are already strained to the breaking point by dozens of other invasive animals.

If you ever wondered how the pythons got here, wildlife officials believe the first ones in the wild were pets that either escaped or were set free by their owners. However, the snakes gained their foothold in 1993 after Hurricane Andrew destroyed a snake breeding facility, releasing dozens of pythons into the wild. At this point the python may have a permanent foothold on Florida much like feral hogs do in Texas. About the only thing left to do is to control them as best as possible. Thanks Everglades Python Snatchers, for doing this dirty job to help out delicate ecosystems like the Everglades!

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels