Python hunters capture 10 snakes in South Florida in 10 days

10 Burmese pythons had combined length of nearly 100 feet

Courtesy: Leonardo "Python King" Sanchez
Courtesy: Leonardo "Python King" Sanchez (Leonardo 'Python King' Sanchez)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Professional python hunters have captured and eliminated 10 snakes in the first 10 days of the South Florida Water Management District's Python Elimination Program, SFWMD announced Tuesday in a news release.

According to the news release, the 10 Burmese pythons had a combined length of nearly 100 feet.

"For these hunters to have already eliminated 10 snakes is tremendous, given the fact that simply locating the elusive python is literally like finding a moving, camouflaged needle in a haystack," SFWMD Governing Board chairman Dan O'Keefe said. "It's great to see that this Governing Board's action to challenge this invasive and destructive predator has yielded early results."

The SFWMD said hunter Patrick Campbell captured the largest snake on Sunday. The snake was 15 feet, 10 inches long.

Campbell received $350 for the kill.


The SFWMD said hunters Nicholas Banos and Leonardo Sanchez captured the second-largest python so far on Saturday. It measured 15 feet, 2 inches.

The hunters made $325 for the kill.

Although the hunters found the largest pythons to date, the SFWMD said Barry Oppenburger has been the most successful hunter so far, killing three snakes in the first week.

The SFWMD said he caught a 13-foot python, an 8-foot-2-inch python and a 6-foot-8-inch python for a total bounty of $550.

The 25 hunters will continue scouring the Florida Everglades for Burmese pythons until June.


As part of the program, the hunters are paid $8.10 per hour for up to eight hours a day.

Participants are paid an additional $50 for pythons measuring up to 4 feet and an extra $25 for each foot above 4 feet.

The hunters will be paid an additional $100 for each eliminated python nest with eggs.


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