Florida trappers snag record-setting python in Everglades

Second-largest python caught in the wild in Florida

Cynthia Downer and Jonathan Lopez came across a massive python on September 22 at Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee, Florida -- and they caught it.

BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla. – Officials say Florida trappers have captured a record-setting python as part of a growing effort that encourages hunters to remove the invasive snakes from the Everglades.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the 18-foot, 4-inch-long (5.58 meters-long) female python weighed 98 pounds and 10 ounces (45 kilograms). A statement by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it was the largest snake captured by the new Python Action Team and the largest ever captured at the Big Cypress National Preserve, which is west of Miami.

The agency says it is the second-largest python ever caught in the wild in Florida. The commission says hunting female Burmese pythons is critical because they add between 30 and 60 hatchlings each time they breed.