Record-setting 17-foot python caught in Everglades

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In the video, the hunter states that the snake was captured at 2:45 in the morning on Friday.

The SFWMD started the python program in April 2017 and pays hunters $8.10 an hour. More than 730 pythons have been killed since then.

The Burmese python, which is considered one of the largest snakes in the world, is native to Asia and an invasive species to the Everglades, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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"We have these guys out there eating our alligators, raccoons, opossums, otters, pretty much everything out there", said Leon.

He grabbed the snake and quickly shot her in the head, killing her instantly.

"We're going to find a 20-footer tonight", he joked after turning in the snake to a field station. 'There's no natural predators too'. The program pays $50 for for a four-foot snake and $25 for each additional foot beyond that.

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Leon's Friday catch bested the hunt's previous record, held by hunter Dusty Crum who caught a 16-foot, 11-inch snake last week.

Smith added the python program has been the "most successful endeavor in trying to make a dent in the population", eliminating at least 743 snakes (some of them pregnant females) since the program's inception in March. It's unclear whether the two had mated.

Florida snake hunters made a monster catch in the Everglades over the weekend. Though an avid python catcher, he doesn't advocate tackling large ones alone. WSVN reported the 16 foot, 11 inch python on November 2.

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