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Five Men Were Needed to Catch This 200-pound, 17-foot Python (the Second Largest Ever Caught in Florida)

second largest ever python caught in Florida
Image by FOX 35 Orlando via YouTube

Weighing in at (almost) 200 pounds and stretching 17 feet long, this python is the second largest ever caught in Florida. This is an impressive achievement because of its size, but it’s also a favor to the state’s ecosystem as pythons cause havoc by being an invasive species.

An Ongoing Fight Against an Invasive Species

burmese python
Image by Crissta Ames Walle via Unsplash

The python was found in the Florida Everglades, a hotspot for invasive Burmese pythons. These massive snakes have been a significant ecological challenge, disrupting local wildlife populations through their predatory behavior.

The Hunt is On

second largest ever python caught in Florida
Image by FOX 35 Orlando via YouTube

You don’t need a permit to kill a Burmese python in Florida as long as you kill it in a humane manner. in fact, it’s even encouraged through an annual “Florida Python Challenge.” This is because of the extensive damage they have on local populations of raccoons, bobcats, rabbits and other small mammals.

5 Strangers Coming Together

second largest ever python caught in Florida
Image by FOX 35 Orlando via YouTube

A whole 5 people were needed to catch this massive snake. A father and his son were out hunting for pythons, and so were three other strangers. The two parties spotted the snake at the same time and instantly knew that they had to work together to successfully reign this creature in.

A 45 Minute Battle

second largest ever python caught in Florida
Image by FOX 35 Orlando via YouTube

It took these five full-grown men 45 minutes to successfully trap this giant python. Despite all of them sitting on top of it, it was still able to lift its body off the ground in an attempt to constrict its opponents.

Second Largest Snake Ever Caught

second largest ever python caught in Florida
Image by FOX 35 Orlando via YouTube

This python is not just any snake; it’s the second largest ever to be caught in the wild in Florida. This catch weighed 198 pounds and measured 17 feet, so just one foot shy of the state record, which is held by a 19-foot python caught in July 2023.

Public Reaction

burmese python in florida
Close up of a burmese python on ground. Image via Depositphotos

The capture has sparked a lot of interest and concern among Florida residents and wildlife enthusiasts. It highlights the ongoing issues and efforts related to invasive species management.

How the Python Invasion Came About

burmese python in florida
Image via Depositphotos

Burmese pythons were introduced to Florida largely through the exotic pet trade. Many were released into the wild by pet owners who could no longer care for them.

Cold-Blooded Giants

burmese python
Image via Pexels

Pythons are one of the largest snake species in the world. They can grow to be up to 23 feet long and can live for up to 25 years in the wild.

Unlikely Swimmers

coastal carpet python
By Schopier – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Despite their massive size, pythons are excellent swimmers. They can swim in both salt and freshwater and can cover large distances across water bodies.

Superb Camouflage

Carpet Python
By Andrew Mercer – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Their patterned skin isn’t just for show—it helps pythons blend into the undergrowth, making them stealthy predators.

Sensory Overload

Python head close up.
Image by Tomáš Malík

Pythons have an extraordinary sense of smell and can detect prey from far away. They use their tongue to pick up scent particles from the air, helping them locate their next meal.

Conservation Paradox

Image via Depositphotos.

While invasive in Florida, Burmese pythons are actually listed as vulnerable in their native habitats in Southeast Asia. Conservation efforts are complicated by their dual status as an invasive species in some areas and a threatened species in others.

A Prolific Breeder

Image via Depositphotos.

Female pythons are oviparous, laying up to 100 eggs at a time. They are unique among snakes for their maternal care, as they incubate their eggs until they hatch.

Thermal Vision: Seeing the Unseen

Image via Depositphotos.

Pythons have heat-sensing pits along their lips, which allow them to detect warm-blooded prey even in complete darkness, providing them with a critical advantage as nocturnal hunters.

Lifespan in the Wild vs. Captivity

Image via Depositphotos.

While pythons can live up to 20 years in the wild, in captivity, with proper care, they can live even longer, sometimes surpassing 30 years.

Can Pythons Climb Trees?

carpet python
Carpet python – Morelia spilota variegata. Image via Depositphotos

Yes, many python species are excellent climbers. Younger and smaller pythons especially use trees both for shelter and to ambush prey from above.

The Shedding Process Explained

python moves at surprising speed
Brown Python.
Image via Pixabay

Like all snakes, pythons undergo a process called ecdysis, or shedding their skin, which allows them to remove parasites and grow. They typically shed several times a year.

Python Speed: Slower Than You Think

coastal carpet python
By Schopier – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Despite their fearsome reputation, pythons are not particularly fast movers. On the ground, they can only reach speeds of about 1 mph.

The Python’s Role in Its Habitat

Image via Depositphotos.

In their natural habitats, pythons play a critical role in controlling the populations of various prey species, thus maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

Invasive Impact in Florida

Image via Depositphotos.

In Florida, pythons are considered invasive, having significant negative impacts on local wildlife populations by preying on and outcompeting native species.

How Do Pythons Handle Cold Weather?

Ball Python (Python regius) wrapped on a limb. Image via Depositphotos.

Pythons are cold-blooded and thrive in warm environments but struggle in colder temperatures, which can slow their metabolism drastically, making winter months challenging for them in non-tropical climates.

The Sensitivity of Python Skin

Image via Depositphotos.

Python skin is covered with scales that contain a rich network of nerves, making it highly sensitive. This sensitivity helps them detect pressure changes and potential threats.

Second Largest Python Ever Caught in Florida: Conclusion

By safaritravelplus –, CC0,

We take our hats off to these five brave guys who managed to stop this gigantic snake from disturbing Florida’s ecosystem even further. Considering its size, it had probably already eaten a huge number of raccoon, foxes and rabbits in the area.

Thank you for reading this article about the second-largest python ever caught in the Sunshine State of Florida! For more python stories, take a look here:

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