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Record-setting 17-foot python caught in Everglades

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"After finding the 17'1" (5.2 m) python submerged in water at around 2:45 Friday morning, Jason Leon managed to pull the 132-lbs. If that snake was alive right now it would probably take like three of us to be able to control that snake, ' Leon said to NBC6. The more of these snakes that can be eliminated, especially females and their eggs, the better chance future generations of native wildlife will have to thrive in the Everglades ecosystem that Floridians have invested billions of dollars to restore. They are the area's top predator.

The python hunters are paid just $8.10 per hour for their work plus bonuses. The district plans to continue the program until its $125,000 budget runs out. The payment increases by $25 for every foot beyond that.

The hunters will receive a grand total of $375 for catching the giant snake.

Burmese pythons are an invasive species in Florida and are wreaking havoc in the Everglades.

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"That snake could pretty much kill any full-grown man", said one of the hunters who caught the python, Jason Leon, to NBC 6. 'There's no natural predators too'.

According to Fox News, Leon also holds the record for the largest python ever caught in the entire state: he captured an 18 foot, eight inch python in 2013.

Since March, the program has eradicated more than 700 snakes in on District lands in Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties, which, if laid out end to end, would measure over 1.4 km and weigh over 4,500 kilos. 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.

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