Enormous 16-foot Burmese Python Captured in Florida

A team of snake hunters wrangled a 16-foot Burmese python from the Florida Everglades on Saturday night.

Dusty 'The Wildman' Crum, along with five other Floridians, captured the python as part of a community challenge to remove the snakes from the area.

The 10-day competition aims to control the population of the invasive Burmese python and protect other animals in the Florida Everglades.

Participants who catch the most and the biggest pythons can expect to nab top prizes.

Burmese python
Burmese pythons pose a threat to the delicate ecosystem of the Florida Everglades as they have no predators and reproduce rapidly. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Crum believes his catch measured close to 16 feet long, although an official measurement has not been taken.

Contestants have just six more days to get their hands on a bigger snake before the competition closes on July 18.

Crum, alongside workmate Kevin Carlisle, is a Python contractor with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

The pair were helped by SFWMD assistant Ed Musgrave and Carlisle's teenage nephews Andrew, Jacob and Luke Carlisle.

Crum, who has also appeared on the Discovery Channel's "Guardians of the Glades," said he started to understand the severity of the issue when he began to realize the populations of other native animals in the region were declining.

"It broke my heart, and I knew I couldn't do anything else but help stop the invasion," he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "I'm looking for these big egg-laying females because, to me, it's more important—that's future generations of snakes you can stop with one capture...As long as I can keep my eyes open, I'm out there. It's like an addiction."

2020's longest capture was a 12-foot python, with 80 snakes removed in total, 10 News Local reported.

Burmese pythons pose a threat to the delicate ecosystem of the Everglades because they have no predators and are able to reproduce rapidly.

Non-native Burmese pythons have established a breeding population in south Florida and have been described by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as "one of the most concerning invasive species" in Everglades National Park.

"Pythons compete with native wildlife for food, which includes mammals, birds, and other reptiles. Severe mammal declines in Everglades National Park have been linked to Burmese pythons," the agency says.

In February, a Florida family received the shock of their life when they found a 16-foot, 300-pound Burmese Python outside their Zolfo Springs home in Hardee County.

Aaron Brown said he spotted the snake while with his mother. After asking his son and cousin for help to trap the animal, the reptile attempted to strike them as they cornered it.

Eventually, the trio managed to get a hold of the snake and shot it. Brown later shared a photo of the three laid out head to toe alongside the snake.

In 2020, snake hunters captured a massive Burmese Python in Florida that is the largest specimen to have been caught in the state. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said the snake measured 18 feet and 9 inches in length.

The record-breaking snake was caught on October 2 near the L-28 Tieback Canal, around 35 miles west of Miami, by snake hunters Ryan Ausburn and Kevin Pavlidis, who work with the SFWMD and FWC respectively.

Florida Python
McKayla Spencer, the Interagency Python Management Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, demonstrates how to catch a python as the Florida governor kicked off the 2021 Python Challenge in the Everglades on June 3, in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images