Invasive Species
7:22 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Man Wrestles, Kills Record-Size Python In Florida City

A state wildlife worker lies next to the body of a 18-foot Burmese python captured by Jason Leon of Palmetto Bay.
Credit Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Jason Leon said he has two regrets about slicing the head off the longest Burmese python recorded in Florida:

He wishes he didn’t have to slay the beast, and he wishes his bedroom walls were big enough to mount the snake’s skin.

“I’m actually really mad I had to kill it,” Leon, 23, said Monday.

“But at one point it coiled around both of my legs and my waist, and I wasn’t going to take a chance on letting that thing get to my neck.”

Leon and two friends were zipping around Florida City on ATVs on May 11 when one of them spotted a snake poking its head out of some brush near Southwest 373rd Street and 167th Avenue.

Leon, a part-time marine biology student at Florida International University and a former owner of pet snakes, jumped off his ride and grabbed the python behind its head, dragging it into the roadway.

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