STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Seventeen-foot python put up a fierce fight before being captured in Florida Everglades

Mike Kimmel's no rookie to the python-hunting game. He's captured hundreds of the snakes, which usually measure up to 10 feet long.But as soon he set...

Posted: Jun 15, 2020 3:56 AM
Updated: Jun 15, 2020 11:00 AM

Mike Kimmel's no rookie to the python-hunting game. He's captured hundreds of the snakes, which usually measure up to 10 feet long.

But as soon he set eyes upon his latest catch, he knew it would be one to remember.

Kimmel, owner of Martin County Trapping & Wildlife Rescue, had gone out into the Florida Everglades last week hoping to catch a giant Burmese python.

He headed to a secluded island where he spotted alligator droppings and a black snake -- but then came upon a giant python that he instantly knew was special. 'My heart started pounding,' Kimmel told CNN. 'I've caught big ones before, but this one looked extra large.'

He was definitely intimidated by the snake, he said, but he isn't known as the Python Cowboy for nothing. After a brief wrestle and a nasty bite, which was all caught in his YouTube video, Kimmel was able to grab the female snake's head and successfully drag her back to his boat, where he euthanized her.

Kimmel is waiting on state authorities for an official measurement. When he measured the snake at home, it was about 17 feet long and he estimates that it weighed about 130 to 150 pounds, he said.

The largest python captured in Florida was 18 feet, 8 inches long, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The pythons began turning up in the Everglades in the 1980s, most likely abandoned by pet owners when they got too big to handle. Some may have escaped from a breeding facility destroyed during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Now wildlife officials estimate there might be as many as 100,000 pythons living in the Everglades. The snakes kill indigenous animals including racoons, otters, birds and even alligators.

Kimmel plans to sell the snake's skin on his website. He said he will also receive a payment from Florida's Python Action Team, which pays people to remove the invasive species.

'I was proud that I came out on top and I knew that I was going to get a good paycheck out of it,' Kimmel said. 'But most of all, a snake that size can really get to anything, so I was thrilled to get this dangerous predator out of the ecosystem.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 74°
Brookings
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 72°
Crater Lake
Scattered Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 74°
Grants Pass
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Klamath Falls
Scattered Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 74°
Cool and breezy Thursday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events