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Amateur hunters capture nearly 18-foot python days before annual competition – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2022-08-05 08:07:21 –

Naples, Fla. — After catching a nearly 18-foot python at Big Cypress National Preserve Wednesday night, three men get excited for the Python Challenge, an annual invasive snake hunting event. He says he is.

According to the trio, the female Burmese python weighed 104 pounds and was only 18 feet tall. One hunter said it was easy to find but hard to fight.

“When you grab a snake by the head, it tries to pull it to the middle of its body and wrap it around you,” said Steven Gauta, one of the hunters who caught the snake. Jake controls the rest of his body to prevent it from wrapping around.

Gauta said it was a struggle that lasted over five minutes.

“Honestly pure adrenaline. I can’t even remember the first ten seconds. We all jumped out of the car screaming,” said Joshua Lakis, who was with his cousins ​​when they caught the snake. rice field.

“There’s a reason these big snakes are called ‘South Florida Speedbumps,'” said driver Jake Waleri.

Waleri said a “speed bump” blocked the road while his group was searching for pythons in Big Cypress National Reserve.

Photo credit: Stephen Gauta

“I heard him screaming and I looked over the middle of the road and there was this snake and I didn’t realize how big it was at the time,” Gauta said.

“I was screaming with excitement. I couldn’t believe I saw something that big,” Valeri said. “A hunter who was in the area just three days ago told us about a giant snake he saw crossing the road. We caught it in the exact same area he reported. We thought about this snake for the last couple of days and it took me days to find it last night.It was just a crazy experience.

The approximately 18-foot python was the 31st snake captured by the two cousins. According to Walleri, the snake is estimated to be between He’s 15 and She’s 20.

“This snake has been around for a long time, and we’ve seen a lot of sudden weather changes, like the extreme cold over a decade ago,” Waleri said. “We’ve seen hurricanes. We’ve survived and survived humans. It’s insane that one mistake can fly in front of us and ultimately cost us our lives.”

According to the hunters, the big find came after three years of no hunting luck.

“We know these pythons are an invasive species tearing the Everglades apart,” Gauta said.

This is a reminder that it takes place two days before the annual Python Challenge. The challenge encourages professionals and amateurs alike to capture these invasive animals.

Last year, Florida Fish and Wildlife said 600 hunters exterminated a total of 223 Everglades pythons responsible for killing wildlife, including endangered and endangered species.

The approximately 18-foot snake won’t be able to compete in this year’s competition, but the hunters say they’re happy to have experienced something memorable.

“We’re approaching the big leagues,” laughed Valeri. From now on he should have caught two days later on the hunt, but there are other big ones in the clearing. ”

Glade Boys Python Adventures

Photo credit: Jake Waleri

Waleri added that he and his cousin Gauta provide guided hunt services that are committed to protecting South Florida’s ecosystems. During the summer they offer night tours to find, trap and remove invasive Burmese pythons.

I wrote this article WFTX’s Brianna Brownlee.

Amateur hunters capture nearly 18-foot python days before annual competition Source link Amateur hunters capture nearly 18-foot python days before annual competition

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