Python Cowboy Captures 17-Foot Snake After Bloody Battle

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Officials say there might be hundreds of thousands of the invasive pythons living in the Florida Everglades

A man known as "Python Cowboy" for his ability to capture Florida's invasive Burmese pythons recently made an impressive catch in the Everglades National Park.

According to Local10.com, Mike Kimmel captured a female python measuring more than 17 feet long and weighing approximately 150 pounds. The snakes he usually captures measure up to 10 feet long.

Kimmel, a conservationist and contractor with the South Florida Water Management District, caught the snake in the Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area in early June. He posted video to his Instagram account showing him wresting with the python and bleeding from an injury on his arm.

“This ain’t good. I think she got an artery,” he said.

Despite his injury, Kimmel managed to capture the snake, which was euthanized and will be officially measured and weighed.

The invasive pythons do serious damage to Florida's ecosystem. They compete with native wildlife for food and have caused severe declines in native species in the Everglades. Efforts are underway to control the population, but it's an uphill battle. Authorities have no idea how many pythons inhabit the area because they are so difficult to locate. Estimates range from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.

“It was a big win for Florida conservation!” Kimmel wrote on Instagram.

Kimmel said he will keep his YouTube audience updated on whether or not the python broke any records.

For more crazy outdoor stories, visit The Realblog and check out Realtree's Facebook page