Miami-Dade County

Snake hunter catches ‘mammoth’ python in Miami-Dade

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, Nov. 5, 2018. The mammoth snake weighed in at 120 pounds.
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, Nov. 5, 2018. The mammoth snake weighed in at 120 pounds. South Florida Wildlife Management District

Miami-Dade County has one less python — and it’s a big one.

Kyle Penniston, of Homestead, was snake hunting late Monday night on South Florida Water Management District land when he nabbed a 17-foot, 5-inch female Burmese python, according to SFWMD.

“The mammoth snake weighed in at 120 pounds,” the district said in a news release.

This is only the third snake that measured more than 17 feet that was caught as part of the Python Elimination Program. The program allows people to kill the invasive snakes on district-owned land.

In October, SFWMD announced a milestone for the hunt: More than 1,700 snakes bagged, or enough to make a two-mile long python skin belt.

On Wednesday, the water management district said Penniston’s catch means “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, who has bagged 235 snakes, is in second place among the hunters. Brian Hargrove, a Miami native, has bagged 257.

“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, in a news release.

Stay calm leads the list. Here is what the experts say people should do when they encounter the snake in South Florida.

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