Collapse bottom bar
Your Location: You're in the jungle, baby! X
Florida Hunting

Forest Rangers Catch 15-Foot Python in Florida

by Dylan Polk   |  April 3rd, 2012 6

Florida pythonRemember those urban legends about pet reptiles that were flushed and grew to be enormous? Looks like some of them might have been true.

According to the Naples Daily News, Florida forest rangers caught and killed a 15-foot, 3-inch python last week in the Picayune Strand State Forest.

Rangers first spotted the python a couple weeks ago, but it escaped into a culvert. They spotted it again last week, and this time, it didn’t get away. One ranger, Jean Bernard Tarrete, grabbed it by the tail, circling around it and staying away from its head, while the other ranger, Wilbur Chaney, grabbed the head. The two killed the python with a rake usually used in controlled burns.

Not the most humane method of dispatching the snake, but like it or not, Florida pythons are becoming a big problem — in every sense of the phrase.

The snake was just shy of the 16-foot record for pythons pulled from the wild in South Florida, and it confirms the spread of the Burmese python population, an nonnative, invasive species in Florida.

Gator_and_PythonGrowing over 20 feet long, pythons are typically released from captivity after they grow too big. In the Everglades, where the Burmese python population is at its worst, the snakes will compete with alligators in the food chain; the two species have even been photographed battling each other, a perfect illustration of the harm the python does to the Florida ecosystem.

The problem has gotten so severe that the importation of pythons, along with transportation of the animal across state lines, was banned by the Interior Department earlier this year.

And it’s probably going to get worse. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the python’s population is known to be breeding, and will probably sustain itself for another 10 years.


  • Lynn

    Good Job! Maybe a bounty on the big snake would work. Maybe require a chip to be put in snakes sold. If people want to be stupid and not take care of their snake and be responsible in doing so, then be able to track that snake back to owner. They'd have to prove a legit reason that snake got away, as in hurricane or such. JMO.

  • Sally

    My husband and I have seen a program about this twice, and it's very alarming! First, I think the shipping of reptiles to the United States should be illegal. Let the zoos and universities have them, and that's where it should stop!!! They should be illegal to have them in anyone's home only to get tired of them and let them loose. Plus, many people don't register their reptile.

    As I understand and read, these pythons are now invading Georgia. This is Very Scary!!!. My husband's been wanting to go to southern Florida, but we will never go until all of this mess is cleared up, and the government / authorities can say they've been wiped out and killed!!!!

  • Fred

    Kill all the pythons here, I agree with the one person, how can someone import Cobras? They will thrive here in Florida. Just another stupid move by our corrupt no-mocracy.

  • pete

    someone said 15,000 dollars to whoever kills the most pythons. has any anyone heard anything like that? I think somthing like that could work! ……

  • david

    you think you got problems with pythons ,try living in england with the radical muslims, but we're not allowed to hunt them because of thier human rights.

  • John Cooper

    i say that this whole thing is bullshit!!!!!!!! dont hunt and kill the snakes!!!!!! we dont hunt and kill mexicans do we and they are breeding and taking over the whole country and doing it way faster than the lovely burmese python is in some damm old swamp land

back to top