Monster python killed by snake handler in Florida

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A record-setting Burmese python was killed with a knife in a rural section of southern Miami-Dade County, after it wrapped itself around the leg of the man trying to capture it.

The monster python was 18 feet, 8 inches long, beating the previous record for Florida by more than a foot, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Jason Leon, an experienced snake handler from Miami, was driving near Homestead at night on May 11 when he saw the python sticking out of a bush, according to a news release from the wildlife commission. When he grabbed the snake behind its head, it began to wrap itself around his leg. He called for help from the people with him and killed the snake with a knife.

The 128-pound female snake was taken to the University of Florida's Research and Education Center in Davie for a necropsy.

"Jason Leon's nighttime sighting and capture of a Burmese python of more than 18 feet in length is a notable accomplishment that set a Florida record," said Kristen Sommers, Exotic Species Coordination Section Leader, in a statement. "The FWC is grateful to him both for safely removing such a large Burmese python and for reporting its capture."

The previous record snake captured in the wild was a female that was 17 feet, seven inches long.